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Aaron D. Thome, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Neurology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Assistant Research Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Aaron D. Thome, Ph.D. grew up in Houston, Texas and completed his bachelor degree in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Following this, he completed his doctorate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) under David G. Standaert, M.D., Ph.D., the John N. Whitaker Chair of Neurology at UAB.  Dr. Thome's research here focused on microglial and neuroinflammatory mechanisms attributed to alpha-synuclein in models of Parkinson's disease. After graduation, he accepted an Edwards Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute under Stanley H. Appel, M.D., Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for ALS and Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology Chair. Dr. Thome is currently primary faculty in the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology, and Assistant Research Member for the Houston Methodist Research Institute.

Description of Research

Dr. Thome's research focuses on peripheral immune cells during the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Current trends in research focus primarily on microglia during the course of AD, justifiably, since they are the resident immune cell of the brain, are inflamed in late AD, and the genetics point to their dysfunction during disease. Expanding the examination of immune changes to the periphery is important on multiple fronts: 1) Permeability of the blood-brain barrier during AD provides a mechanism for peripheral immune cell infiltration. 2) Redundant disease-implicated genes and markers are also found in peripheral immune cells. 3) The increased understanding and analysis of neuro-immune crosstalk during health and disease provide cogent mechanisms for interactions between the brain and periphery. 

Current research focuses:

1. Peripheral immune cell changes during the course of AD (populations, functions, and phenotypes)

2. The effects of peripheral immune changes on neuroinflammation and AD susceptibility/progression. 

3. Translational immunomodulation for halting the progression of the disease. 

Areas Of Expertise

Neurodegenerative diseases Parkinson’s disease Microglia Neuroinflammation Immunomodulation Alzheimer's disease
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Houston Methodist Neurological Institute
PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
BS, Texas A&M University

Functional alterations of myeloid cells during the course of Alzheimer's disease
Thome, AD, Faridar, A, Beers, DR, Thonhoff, JR, Zhao, W, Wen, S, Pascual, B, Masdeu, JC & Appel, SH 2018, Molecular Neurodegeneration, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 61.

Targeting of the class II transactivator attenuates inflammation and neurodegeneration in an alpha-synuclein model of Parkinson's disease
Williams, GP, Schonhoff, AM, Jurkuvenaite, A, Thome, AD, Standaert, DG & Harms, AS 2018, Journal of Neuroinflammation, vol. 15, no. 1, 244.

Peripheral monocyte entry is required for alpha-Synuclein induced inflammation and Neurodegeneration in a model of Parkinson disease
Harms, AS, Thome, AD, Yan, Z, Schonhoff, AM, Williams, GP, Li, X, Liu, Y, Qin, H, Benveniste, EN & Standaert, DG 2018, Experimental Neurology, vol. 300, pp. 179-187.

a-Synuclein fibrils recruit peripheral immune cells in the rat brain prior to neurodegeneration
Harms, AS, Delic, V, Thome, AD, Bryant, N, Liu, Z, Chandra, S, Jurkuvenaite, A & West, AB 2017, Acta neuropathologica communications, vol. 5, no. 1.

The Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 4 Positive Allosteric Modulator ADX88178 Inhibits Inflammatory Responses in Primary Microglia
Ponnazhagan, R, Harms, AS, Thome, AD, Jurkuvenaite, A, Gogliotti, R, Niswender, CM, Conn, PJ & Standaert, DG 2016, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 231-237.

MicroRNA-155 regulates alpha-synuclein-induced inflammatory responses in models of Parkinson disease
Thome, AD, Harms, AS, Volpicelli-Daley, LA & Standaert, DG 2016, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 36, no. 8, pp. 2383-2390.

Fractalkine signaling regulates the inflammatory response in an a-synuclein model of Parkinson disease
Thome, AD, Standaert, DG & Harms, AS 2015, PloS one, vol. 10, no. 10, e0140566.

MHCII is required for a-Synuclein-induced activation of microglia, CD4 T cell proliferation, and dopaminergic neurodegeneration
Harm, AS, Cao, S, Rowse, AL, Thome, AD, Li, X, Mangieri, LR, Cron, RQ, Shacka, JJ, Raman, C & Standaert, DG 2013, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 33, no. 23, pp. 9592-9600.

A partial MECP2 duplication in a mildly affected adult male: A putative role for the 3' untranslated region in the MECP2 duplication phenotype
Hanchard, NA, Carvalho, CMB, Bader, P, Thome, A, Omo-Griffith, L, del Gaudio, D, Pehlivan, D, Fang, P, Schaaf, CP, Ramocki, MB, Lupski, JR & Cheung, SW 2012, BMC Medical Genetics, vol. 13, 71.

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