Dr. Thomas received her A.B. degree from Harvard University with a concentration in biochemistry. She obtained her MA in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Kansas, and her MD from New York University School of Medicine. After completing her residency training, she had faculty appointments at New York University and at the University of Iowa. In 1997, she accepted a position at the University of Kansas Medical Center as Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, serving as Chair for six years between 2003-2009.
Dr. Thomas currently serves as the Associate Dean for Cultural Enhancement and Diversity at KUMC. She has worked to expand programs for recruitment of students from populations that are underrepresented in medicine or those who experience the greatest burden of health disparities; nurture recruited students; foster an inclusive educational environment; ensure cultural competency in the curriculum; recruit and develop underrepresented faculty; support service learning and health disparities research; enhance and expand community partnerships; and improve the health and science literacy of the general public. Since 2002, Dr. Thomas has been awarded in excess of twenty million dollars to support her efforts and has also collaborated campus-wide on diversity and health disparities issues.
In addition to serving as a mentor of students and faculty, Dr. Thomas is active in the instruction of medical students. She is the recipient of a University of Kansas Student Voice Award for Excellence in Teaching and other honors such as KU's Women's Hall of Fame 2010, Distinguished University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics alumnus, ELAM, Alpha Omega Alpha, Black Achievers, and National Library of Medicine and American Medical Women Association Local Legend Award.
As a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dr. Thomas in internationally known for her Cytopathology expertise, particularly for her knowledge and skills in the Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) cytology technique and breast FNA. She has recently published a textbook on breast pathology, which targets non-pathologist healthcare providers and the general public.
Dr. Thomas is or has been a member of many national advisory groups, including the Minorities in Cancer Research Council of the American Association of Cancer Research and Armed Forces Insitute of Pathology Scientific Advisory Board, and the Immunology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, Food and Drug Administration and the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GCI).
Dr. Thomas's research interests include a health services research and educational approach to studying and eliminating disparities in health.
About Us >