Derek Thomas

Derek Thomas
Assistant Professor Biomedical Sciences Department 314 Henry Hall Allendale, Michigan 49401 Phone: 616-331-2812 Fax: 616-331-2090 email:
See available times here,
or by appointment


BMS212- Introductory Microbiology

BMS213- Laboratory in Microbiology


Research Assistant Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2007-2010

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2005-2007

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2003-2005

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sussex, 2001-2002

Ph. D Molecular microbiology, University of Wales Swansea, 2002

BSc (Hons) Genetics, University of Wales Swansea, 1997


My research focuses on using C. albicans as a model fungal pathogen. C . albicans is a frequently acquired nosocomial infection both within the US and worldwide. It is an increasingly common threat to human health as a consequence of AIDS, steroid therapy, organ and tissue transplantation, cancer therapy, broad spectrum antibiotics and other immune defects. These infections carry unacceptably high morbidity, mortality rates (30-50%) and important economic repercussions (estimated total direct cost of approximately 2 billion dollars in 1998 in US hospitals alone).

The objectives of my research are: ( i) the application of state-of-the-art yeast cell biology and genetics to the study of Candida albicans pathogenesis and commensalism, ( ii) the use of proteomics, genomics, and bioinformatics in the analysis of the lifecycle of C. albicans, ( iii) studies of C. albicans virulence in vivo, and ( iv) signal sensing and transduction particularly with reference to disease related and quorum sensing pathways in C. albicans.


Ramage, G., Saville, S.P., Thomas, D.P., and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Candida Biofilms: an Update. Eukaryotic Cell, 2005, vol:4:633-38.

McCammon, M. T., Gillette, J.S., Thomas, D. P., Ramaswamy S.V., Rosas, I.I., Graviss, E. A., Vijg, J. and Quitugua, T. N. Detection by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis of pncA Mutations Associated with Pyrazinamide Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from the United States-Mexico Border Region. Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 2005, vol:49:2200-9

McCammon, M. T., Gillette, J.S., Thomas, D. P., Ramaswamy, S.V., Graviss, E. A., Kreiswirth, B., Vijg, J., and Quitugua, T. N. Detection of rpoB Mutations Associated with Rifampin Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis using Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 2005, vol:49:2210-7.

Saville, S.P., Thomas, D.P., and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Use of Genome Information for the Study of the Pathogenesis of Fungal Infections and the Development of Diagnostic Tools. Rev. Iberoam. Mycol., 2005, vol:22:216-9.

Saville, S.P., Thomas, D.P., and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. A Role for Efg1p in Candida albicans Interactions with Extracellular Matrices. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 2006, vol:256:151-8.

Newell, K.V., Thomas, D.P., Brekasis, D and Paget., M.S.B. The RNA Polymerase-Binding Protein RbpA Confers Basal Levels of Rifampicin Resistance on Streptomyces coelicolor. Mol Micro, 2006, vol:60:687-96.

Thomas, D.P, Bachmann, S.P. and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Proteomics for the Analysis of the C. albicans Biofilm Lifestyle. Proteomics, 2006, vol:6:5795-804.

Thomas, D.P., Viudes, A. and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. A Proteomic-Based Approach for the Identification of Candida albicans Immunogenic Components Present in a Subunit Vaccine that Protects Against Disseminated Candidiasis. Proteomics, 2006, vol:6:6033-41.

Thomas, D.P., Pitarch, A., Monteoliva, L., Gil, C. and Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Proteomics to Study Candida albicans Biology and Pathogenicity. Infectious Disorders-Drug Targets, 2006, vol:6:335-41.

Pitarch, A., Molero, G., Monteoliva, L., Thomas, D.P., Lopez-Ribot, J.L., Nombela, C., Gil, C. Proteomics in Candida species. Candida: Comparative and Functional Genomics, 2007. Horizon Press. Ed.s: C. d'Enfert and B.Hube.

Pierce, C.G., Thomas, D.P., Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Effect of Tunicamycin on Candida albicans Biofilm Formation. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemistry, 2009, vol:63:473-9.

Young, M., Macias, S., Thomas, D., Wormley, F.L. A Proteomc-based Approach for the Identification of Immunodominant Cryptococcus neoformans Proteins. Proteomics, 2009, vol:9:2578-88.

Uppuluri, P., Dinakaran, H., Thomas, D.P., Chaturvedi, A.K., Lopez-Ribot, J.L. Characteristics of Candida albicans Biofilms Formed Using a Synthetic Urine Medium. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2009 vol:47:4078-83.

Thomas, D.P., Lopez-Ribot, J.L, and Lee, S. A Proteomic Analysis of Secretory Proteins of a Pre- Vacuolar mutant of Candida albicans. Journal of Proteomics, 2009, vol:73:342-351.

Martins, M., Uppuluri, P., Thomas, D.P., Cleary, I.A., Henriques, M., Lopez-Ribot, J.L., Oliveira, R. Presence of extracellular DNA in the Candida albicans biofilm matrix and its contribution to biofilm integrity and maintenance. Mycopathologia. 2010, vol:169:323-31.

Kallifidas, D., Thomas, D., Doughty, P., Paget, M.S. The sigmaR regulon of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) reveals a key role in protein quality control during disulphide stress. Microbiology. 2010, vol:156:1661-72.

Cleary, I.A., Mulabagal, P., Thomas, D.P., Reinhard, S.M., Yadev, N.P., Thornhill, M.N., Monteagudo, C., Lazzell, A.L. and Saville, S.P. RFG1 overexpression in Candida albicans promotes pseudohyphal growth. In Press. Eukaryotic Cell.

Uppuluri, P., Pierce, C.G., Thomas, D.P., Bubeck, S., Saville, S.P., Lopez-Ribot, J.L. The transcriptional regulator Nrg1p controls Candida albicans biofilm formation and dispersion. In Press. Eukaryotic Cell.