Meet the Team | Research Faculty
Theresa Currier Thomas, PhD, joined the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital at its inception in 2012 as an assistant professor. Dr. Currier Thomas was born in the southeastern Kentucky town of Beattyville, nestled in the Daniel Boone National Forest. She received her bachelor of science degree in agricultural biotechnology in 1999 from the University of Kentucky and soon thereafter accepted a technical position in the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center for Excellence and Center for Microelectrode Technology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
She quickly ascended to a research analyst and was inspired to apply to graduate school in 2003. Dr. Currier Thomas earned her PhD in anatomy and neurobiology in 2008, primarily studying neurotransmission to elucidate functional mechanisms implicated in attention-deficit\hyperactivity disorder.
Dr. Currier Thomas was recruited for a postdoctoral fellowship by Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD, to the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky to assess altered structural and functional alterations underlying late-onset chronic deficits after experimental diffuse TBI. When Dr. Lifshitz was recruited to the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to start the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program in 2012, Dr. Thomas joined him as an assistant professor.
The Translational Neurotrauma Research Program’s goal is to understand the causes and treatments for acute neurological injuries across the lifespan of individuals, which can result in chronic neurological deficits.
PROJECT: Dr. Currier Thomas’s primary research interests focus on understanding the structural, functional and molecular processes, with synaptogenesis as a keystone, which will guide circuit reorganization over time and contribute to chronic deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI).
She tests pharmacological and rehabilitative strategies to mitigate these chronic deficits. She is also actively investigating the contribution of endocrine (hormone) deficiencies after TBI to understand causes and propose treatments for post-traumatic neurological deficits.
Many of these studies are in collaboration with researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix VA Healthcare System and Arizona State University.
Interests and Hobbies
Dr. Currier Thomas loves cooking, wine-tasting, traveling, photography and spending time with her family, friends and her dog. Learn more about Dr. Currier Thomas.