Dr Thompson’s lab is interested in deciphering how vitamin D and retinoid derived compounds govern the expression of transcriptional networks important for metabolic function and maintenance of healthy aging and how such effects are mediated through nuclear receptors such as vitamin D receptor (VDR) and retinoid X receptor (RXR)
Dr Thompson obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Medical College of Ohio in 1993 after which he joined the laboratory of Prof Mark Haussler (University of Arizona) where he first developed an interest in vitamin D and retinoid biology.
From 2002-2003, he worked at LION Bioscience AG (Heidelberg, Germany) where he continued to explore nuclear receptor mechanistic functionality before returning to academia at Ulster.
As a Senior Lecturer at Ulster, Dr Thompson is interested in how the vitamin D and retinoid pathways regulate the expression of metabolic gene products and their relevance to endobiotic/drug bioavailability in addition to such diseases as prostate cancer and melanoma.
In recent years his lab has been investigating how a process known as SUMOylation may modulate the vitamin D response during periods of chronic disease or in response to inflammatory challenges.
At Ulster, Dr Thompson has attracted project funding from Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Research Campaign UK and the European Union CEC Framework 7.
- Molecular nutrition and pharmacology of vitamin D and its signal pathway.
- Nuclear receptor mediated signalling.
The Thompson laboratory are keen to hear from motivated students who are interested in PhD studies in this area.
Dr Thompson teaches final year Human Molecular Biology and Genetics as part of the undergraduate degree programmes in Biomedical Sciences and Biology.
Dr Thompson is the Postgraduate Tutor for Biomedical Sciences Research Institute at Ulster.