BAppSc.(Hons), Microbiology; Ph.D. Biotechnology, La Trobe University
Dr. Thomas is a molecular virologist whose research employs a number of approaches, including genetics, genomics, proteomics and electron microscopy, to study large bacterial viruses, referred to as “giant” phages. Dr. Thomas has conducted research on giant phages for more than 14 years and is particularly interested in understanding how they assemble their large virions and manipulate the bacterial cell during this process. There is much to be learned about giant phages as they encode many, sometimes hundreds, of genes that are not functionally characterized. Understanding how giant phages replicate is important in a broader context as there is great interest in employing phages as alternatives to antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria. Her laboratory is currently supported by NIGMS.
Dr. Thomas joined the RIT faculty after postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Maryland Baltimore with Dr. Lindsay Black, and at the UT Health San Antonio with Dr. Stephen C. Hardies and Dr. Philip Serwer. She earned her Ph.D. from La Trobe University (Biotechnology) in 2006. Since joining the faculty in GSoLS Dr. Thomas has used her expertise to develop the courses Phage Biology and Microbial and Viral Genetics.
In the News
May 3, 2021
Faculty, students innovate when plans for saliva testing changed
Once RIT secured enough antigen tests for students for the spring semester, plans for administering saliva tests were put on hold. But this did not stop faculty and students in RIT’s College of Science from creating a Plan B of new lab activities, research, and community outreach.
December 4, 2020
RIT begins development of saliva testing for spring semester
RIT is developing saliva testing protocols for campus as part of its plan to monitor the prevalence of the SARS-CoV2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19. Development of the testing process will be done by André Hudson and Julie Thomas, both faculty-researchers in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences.
August 14, 2019
RIT’s Inclusive Excellence program engages rising sophomore students in research
RIT is helping more students from nontraditional pathways get hands-on experience in scientific research early in their academic careers through a unique summer program focused on mentorship.