Dr. Thomas is Professor and Division Chief of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. With a joint appointment in Neurosciences, he has played a pivotal role in the Department by serving as Director of the Data Core within the NIA-funded Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a unique cooperative agreement among 100 academic and commercial research centers to conduct AD drug trials.
He also serves as Director of the Biostatistics Core of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and leads the Informatics Group within the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) Clinical Core, which oversees and manages the ADNI Clinical and Biomarker datasets.
Dr. Thomas's own research agenda in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics encompasses four different methodologic areas: (1) developing methods for conducting power analyses in longitudinal clinical trials, with an emphasis on trials in which the investigators anticipate a large loss to follow-up or have issues of non-ignorable missing data; (2) defining algorithms for the efficient calculation of p-values in multidimensional contingency tables; (3) exploring the application of exact inference algorithms to a variety of problems in bioinformatics; and (4) conducting controlled research in medical informatics, which focuses on issues of validity and cost-effectiveness in the use of electronic data capture technologies in multi-center clinical trials.
Creatively combining biostatistics and basic science, Dr. Thomas has established himself as an intellectual force in the design, analysis, and management of large-scale clinical trials. His exemplary leadership in this area is characterized by productivity in publication record and significant contributions to complex multi-site collaborative research efforts.
Dr. Thomas is a member of both the NIA Alzheimer's Disease Center Review Panel and the NIA National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Scientific Review Panel. Other important activities, within the UCSD School of Medicine, include statistical consultations and instruction to fellows and junior faculty.