Tom Thomas joined Flagship Pioneering as an associate after completing the firm's 2020 Fellowship Program. As part of Flagship's team of entrepreneurial scientists, Tom works across the life cycle of venture creation, including explorations into novel biological mechanisms and biotechnologies. He is closely involved with the conception and development of pioneering start-ups and innovations within the existing Flagship ecosystem, with a specific focus in the Pre-emptive Medicines & Health Security Initiatives.
Tom earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences & Translational Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in the laboratory of John S. Yu, M.D., where he studied metabolic plasticity in high grade gliomas using patient-derived organoid models. Tom’s thesis identified a specific metabolic module within cancer stem cell populations in brain tumors that drives resistance and adaptation to dynamic stress. He discovered multiple nodes within this pathway that effectively conferred metabolic flexibility to these difficult-to-treat cancer cells. Tom went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of John C. Aster, M.D., Ph.D., in the Department of Pathology, where he focused on tissue-specific contexts and spatial dynamics of Notch signaling in various cancers, and how this contextual signaling variation played a significant role in cell fate decisions during tumorigenesis.
In addition to his Ph.D. from Cedars Sinai, Tom also holds a B.S. in Physiological Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also holds an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Biology at Emmanuel College, Boston, Mass. He has published several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, including articles in Cancer Research, Cancer Letters, Frontiers in Neurology, and eLife.