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Professor David Thomas

Professor of renal medicine

I am professor of renal medicine and my clinical work is focused on caring for patients with vasculitis and renal transplants.
Professor David Thomas

My current role

I am a Professor of renal medicine and a clinical academic focused on understanding the biology of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in immunity.

Working with Professor Ken Smith and Professor Gordon Dougan, I characterised the novel protein EROS and showed that it is a highly selective chaperone protein that is essential for the generation of reactive oxygen species and, therefore, host immunity. We also demonstrated that EROS-deficiency is the basis of a novel human inborn error of immunity and the molecular mechanism by which EROS works. (Thomas et al J. Exp. Med 2017, Thomas et al JACI 2018, Randzavola, Mortimer et al eLife 2022). EROS also controls the levels of some other proteins, including P2X7, which has numerous roles in both innate and adaptive immunity. This work was funded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship and the Beit Prize. We are currently working on:

  1. the role of EROS in T cells and endothelial cells
  2. other novel regulators of ROS generation.

I have also worked on Covid-19 focusing on understanding the pathogenesis of disease in patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD).  I was a co-principal investigator on the OCTAVE and OCTAVE-DUO trials, which examine vaccine responses in immunosuppressed patients (Barnes et al Nature Medicine 2023).

Working with collaborators at Imperial College, I have also worked on the use of multiomics to predict severity in patients with ESKD (Gisby et al eLife 2021, Gisby et al Nature Communications 2022). This includes the observation that, of 7000 serum proteins, the best predictor of disease outcome is the serum level of the alternative SARS-CoV-2 receptor, LRRC15. This work was funded by the MRC.

Previous history

I am a graduate of the Cambridge MB / PhD programme and trained in renal medicine at Cambridge where I was a clinical lecturer and subsequently a Wellcome-Beit Prize Career Development fellow. I moved to Imperial College, London as a reader in immunology and inflammation and honorary consultant nephrologist in 2019 before returning to Cambridge as a professor in 2023.

Membership and accreditations

I am a member of the Royal College of Physicians.