Professor Thomas is presently Director of the Biofilm Research Laboratory for Translational Studies in Medicine, Dentistry, and Industry at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, US and Senior Consultant to Clinical Microbiology , WVUH. He created the International Tri-University Biofilm Research Consortium in 2002 to further global investigations and education (www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/pathology/thomas), initially focusing on VAP and the MV ICU patient highlighting the oral -systemic link
He completed a six month Sabbatical at Cardiff University, School of Dental Medicine in 2008 and has travelled extensively, lecturing in 16 countries, four continents and to greater than 15,000 educators and public healthcare providers. He is co-organizer of the First Asia Pacific Biofilm Congress which is to be held in China, Spring 2011. He has published extensively on diverse microbial topics emphasizing oral biofilms and their importance in probiotic management, and their link to systemic diseases , chronic wounds, global antibiotic resistance and recently the tumor –biofilm connection.
Dr. Thomas integrates four academic and educational positions at West Virginia University: School of Medicine, Pathology, School of Dentistry, Periodontology, School of Pharmacy, and Graduate School, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology. He also holds teaching positions at Rutgers University and internationally is a Visiting Professor (Honorary) at Cardiff University, School of Dental Medicine as a Academic Visitor, National University of Singapore, School of Dentistry.
In 2008, Dr. Thomas was invited to join the Scientific Advisory Council, American Dental Association (ADA), and in 2007, he was given the highest achievement award for University Teaching at WVU, recognized by students. In 2009, Dr. Thomas was awarded the Student Research Development Award by the School of Dentistry, having received the award in 2006 and 1998
His translational research continues to focus on biofilms but has expanded to include VAP in the NICU, chronic wounds , the use of probiotics, and biofilms as tumors via pre-clinical trials and engineered simulators for each ; Dr Thomas, as a co PI, recently received a $1.35 million NIH/Homeland Security grant with Purdue University collaborators, to evaluate a rapid detection system for food borne pathogens and potential bio-terrorist modified organisms.