Thomas Wilson

Thomas Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology and Human Genetics


Dr. Wilson’s research addresses connected themes related to the molecular basis of chromosomal rearrangements in cancer and the germline, as well as how those outcomes depend on DNA repair, transcription and replication dynamics. First, he uses yeast as a genetic model organism to study the basic in vivo repair mechanisms active at DNA double-strand breaks. Second, he uses mammalian cell systems to study the environmental and genetic influences on mechanisms of copy number variant (CNV) formation, an important and clinically relevant category of human genomic instability associated with transcription and replication stress. Third, he is active in research connected to his graduate roots that applies nascent RNA sequencing to a variety of problems of the 4D nucleome. Other areas of recent interest include genomic alterations induced by LINE-1 retrotransposition, the interface of metabolic signaling with DNA repair regulation, and the dynamics of mutation acquisition in body tissues. The last interest led to Dr. Wilson becoming co-PI of the Michigan Single-Cell Spatial Analysis Program as head of the core services support team, in conjunction with his larger role as Faculty Director of the Advanced Genomics Core. Throughout, Dr. Wilson has a strong interest in bioinformatics and computational sciences and his research projects often involve developing novel custom data analysis tools.

Research Interests

Mechanisms of DNA double-strand break repair and resistance to replication stress and their impact on chromosome instability in cancer, the germline and the brain; bioinformatics; genomic technology; nascent transcript sequencing.

Research Opportunities for Rotating Students

  1. mechanisms of double-strand break repair and chromosomal rearrangement studied in yeast
  2. development and application of new technologies for studying chromosomal rearrangement in human cells