Peter Thomas

Professor, Section of Integrative Biology and
Professor and Senior Research Scientist, Marine Science Institute

  Education | Research Interests | Publications

(361) 749-6768

(361) 749-6777

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  • B.Sc., Hull, England, 1970
  • Ph.D., University of Leicester, England, 1977

Research Interests

My research interests are the endocrine control of reproduction in fishes and other vertebrates and the effects of environmental factors such as hypoxia and pollutants on reproductive function. Research is conducted at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas and at field sites in the Gulf of Mexico region.  A research emphasis is on the structure, functions and evolution of a new class of sex steroid receptors we recently discovered in fishes and subsequently have identified in other vertebrates. The novel receptors are structurally unrelated to nuclear steroid receptors and are located on the surface of cells where they elicit rapid biological responses to steroids by mechanisms not involving gene transcription. Recent studies in fish, amphibians, rodents and humans indicate these receptors mediate steroid regulation of meiosis in oocytes, sperm motility, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion and immune function, and are likely involved in the onset of labor in humans and in the progression of breast cancer.

More information - see longer description on Dr. Thomas' personal profile and list of graduate students.


  • Karteris, E., S. Zervou, Y.F. Pang, Y.F., J. Dong, E.W.Hillhouse, H.S. Randeva and P. Thomas. 2006.  Progesterone signaling in human myometrium through two novel membrane G protein couple receptors: potential role in functional progesterone withdrawal at term. Molecular Endocrinology 20(7):1519-1534.
  • Thomas, P., S.Md. Rahman, J.A. Kummer, and S. Lawson.  2006.  Reproductive endocrine dysfunction in Atlantic croaker exposed to hypoxia.  Marine Environmental Research 62:249-252.
  • Thomas, P., Y. Pang, E.J. Filardo, and J. Dong.  2005.  Identity of an estrogen membrane receptor coupled to a G-protein in human breast cancer cells.  Endocrinology 146:624-632.
  • Pace, M.C. and P. Thomas.  2005.  Activation of a pertussis toxin sensitive, inhibitory G-protein is necessary for steroid-mediated oocyte maturation in spotted seatrout.  Developmental Biology 285:70-79
  • Zhu, Y., C.D. Rice, Y.F. Pang, M. Pace, and P. Thomas.  2003.  Cloning, expression, and characterization of a membrane progestin receptor and evidence it is an intermediary in meiotic maturation of fish oocytes.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 100(5):2231-2236.

More information - see publications list on his personal profile page.