Honorary Research Fellow
A PhD graduate from of the University of Western Australia Microbiology Department (1974) Professor Thomas began investigating T-cells in immunological hypersensitivity at the Clinical Research Centre, London (1974-1979) and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne (1979-1983). Returning to Perth (1984) he focussed on understanding and developing immunotherapy for house dust mite allergy and asthma by defining and manipulating immune responses to allergens. He molecularly defined the major house dust mite allergens and pioneered the application of recombinant allergens. Ensuing studies of cat and mite allergens defined patterns of allergic sensitization and therapeutic formulations and the mitigation of allergy to complex allergens with single peptides. Since infections also appear important for allergic disease recent studies have explored adaptive immunity to infectious agents using defined recombinant antigens demonstrating several marked and consistent associations with responses to bacteria and enteric and respiratory viruses and additionally evidence for rhinovirus-C being a stealth virus.