Julie Thomas Headshot

Julie Thomas

Assistant 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

Assistant Professor
Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science

Education

B.App.Sc., Ph.D., LaTrobe University, Bendingo (Australia)

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

Areas of Expertise

Currently Teaching

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-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-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-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-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-427
4 Credits
This course will examine bacterial and viral genetic systems. These systems will be studied with the idea that they are simple examples of the genetics systems found in higher organisms, and can also be used as biotechnological tools. This course will show how these prokaryotic systems have served as excellent model systems for studying the genetics of higher organisms. This course will examine how these systems can be genetically manipulated using transformation, transduction, transposition, and conjugation. Bacteria and viruses will be discussed as important tools for many of the greatest discoveries in biology; especially in molecular biology and genetics. In addition some of the primary research journal articles will be critiqued.
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-791
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis

In the News

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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.