Paul Thomas

Associate Professor Paul Thomas is a Pfizer Australia Research Fellow in the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide. His research focuses on identifying genes that cause intellectual disability in children and the understanding of how these genes regulate brain development.  His research makes extensive use of the human genome project and the latest advances in stem cell technology to investigate gene function in the brain.

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A/Prof Thomas completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide in 1995.  He then moved in London to take up a post-doctoral research position in the laboratory of the internationally renowned embryologist Dr. Rosa Beddington at the National Institute for Medical Research.

In recognition of his scientific achievements in early brain development, A/Prof Thomas was awarded a Howard Florey Centenary Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and returned to Australia in 1998 as a Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne. He spent the next eight years developing an independent research program investigating the genetic causes of intellectual disability and pituitary hormone deficiency.  

A/Prof Thomas relocated to the University of Adelaide in January 2006 with the support of a NHMRC Career Development Award and currently heads the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics. In 2008, A/Prof Thomas was awarded a prestigious Pfizer Australia Research Fellowship to further expand his research program into the genetics of intellectual disability. This research is providing a comprehensive picture of how genetic changes cause intellectual impairment and the mechanism by which neurons are generated during embryonic development. Ultimately this research will lead to improved diagnosis of intellectual disability and will assist in the development of new therapies for this common disorder.

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