Thomas H. Sanderson, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Associate Professor of Department of Emergency Medicine and Molecular and Integrative Physiology

North Campus Research Complex
Building 26 - 319N
2800 Plymouth Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 



Thomas Hudson Sanderson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Sanderson was awarded an American Heart Association Fellowship for his doctoral research in 2004. His research has been continuously funded since beginning his independent research career as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in 2009.

Dr. Sanderson joined the Department of Emergency Medicine faculty at the University of Michigan in 2017. He serves as a reviewer for multiple granting agencies, including the American Heart Association, the Department of Defense. Dr. Sanderson is a standing member of the Neural Oxidative Metabolism, Mitochondria, and Cell Death Study Section for the National Institutes of Health. He has received multiple awards for his research, including the “Young Investigator Award” from the American Heart Association and the “Mitochondria Symposium Award” from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His research is well-funded with multiple NIH R01 and SBIR/STTR grants and multiple AHA, industry, and technology development grants.

Areas of Interest

The Sanderson lab focuses on understanding brain damage caused by ischemic insults during cardiac arrest, ischemic stroke, and neonatal hypoxia/ischemia. Ongoing mechanistic studies are focused on uncovering novel pathologic mechanisms of inner mitochondrial membrane proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, quality control, cristae maintenance, and cell death execution. These studies utilize novel cell and small animal models of brain ischemia in transgenic mice to evaluate mitochondrial dysfunction.

The second area of focus is the development and clinical translation of neuroprotective therapies that modulate the activity of mitochondria to reduce brain injury. Pre-clinical large animal studies are ongoing to evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy that limits mitochondrial hyperactivity and prevents ROS production following brain ischemia. This research has resulted in two U.S. patents, which formed the foundation of the startup company, Mitovation, Inc.

Ongoing studies supported by the NIH and DoD are focused on investigating the mechanisms of this therapy through continued testing in large animals, along with regulatory testing of human therapy devices that can bring this treatment to the clinic.


B.S., Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University (2001)
Ph.D., Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine (2006) 

Web Sites