Julie Thomas Headshot

Julie Thomas

Associate Professor

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science

585-475-2375
Office Hours
Monday and Wednesdays 12-1 pm.
Office Location

Julie Thomas

Associate Professor

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science

Education

BAppSc.(Hons), Microbiology; Ph.D. Biotechnology, La Trobe University

Bio

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. 

585-475-2375

Personal Links
Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Weintraub, S. T., et al. "Global Proteomic Profiling of Salmonella Infection by a Giant Phage." Journal of Virology 93. 5 (2019): e01833-18. Print.
Peña, Adriana Coll De, et al. "Analysis of bacteriophages with insulator-based dielectrophoresis." Micromachines 10. 7 (2019): 450. Web.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Thomas, Julie A. and Coll, A., Bosch, M., Adams, L., Benitez, D., Aguilera, E., Coulibaly, A., Cheng, N., Wu, W., Steven, A.C., Weintraub, S.T., Hardies, S.C. and Black, L.W. "Exploiting Mutational Surrogacy to Study Head Morphogenesis of Giant PhiKZ-related Phages." Evergreen International Phage Meeting. Evergreen State College. Olympia, Washington. 6 Aug. 2015. Conference Presentation.

Currently Teaching

BIOL-791
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
BIOL-495
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
BIOL-498
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study.
BIOL-301
1 - 4 Credits
This course allows students to assist in a class or laboratory for which they have previously earned credit. The student will assist the instructor in the operation of the course. Assistance by the student may include fielding questions, helping in workshops, and assisting in review sessions. In the case of labs, students may also be asked to help with supervising safety practices, waste manifestation, and instrumentation.
BIOL-798
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed, graduate level tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum.
BIOL-295
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their first three years of study.
BIOL-427
4 Credits
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the genetic systems of prokaryotes and their viruses. There are two major foci: (1) the mechanisms bacteria and their viruses employ to preserve the integrity of their genomes and regulate gene expression, and (2) the mechanisms by which these entities acquire new genetic material. The relevance of these processes to evolution and the development of new traits that facilitate survival under new environmental conditions (e.g., antibiotic resistance) is highlighted, especially with regard to clinically, industrially and agriculturally important microbes. Molecular processes whose discovery led to the formation of important research and/or biotechnological tools will also be discussed. Students will participate in laboratory projects which highlight important mechanisms, such as transformation, transduction, lysogeny, conjugation and CRIPSR-Cas acquired adaptive immunity.
BIOL-298
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their first three years of study.
BIOL-335
4 Credits
Viruses that infect bacteria (phages) are ubiquitous wherever their hosts reside– whether in soil, a hot spring or our own digestive tract. Phages are also the most abundant and diverse biological entities, consequently phage research is relevant to health, industry, agriculture, ecology and evolution. Phage Biology is a research-intensive course designed to explore the fundamental properties of phages, how they interact with their bacterial hosts, the major techniques used to characterize them and their applications. Since phage particles are comprised of DNA and protein the techniques employed in this course have relevance to many other biological disciplines. This course will develop both laboratory and analytical skills as students will isolate and characterize mutant phages in a novel model system, becoming mutation sleuths to determine mutation locations and their effect.
BIOL-202
4 Credits
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins.

In the News