Stephen Thom, MD, PhD

Academic Title:
Administrative Title:
Professor/ EM Physician
Primary Clinical Site:
University of Maryland Medical Center
Board Certifications:
American Board of Emergency Medicine
On Medical Staff Since:

Academic Activities and Responsibilities

I am a practicing physician with board certification in emergency medicine and undersea & hyperbaric medicine. I am the Director of Research for our department with grants from NIH and several from DOD. I regularly lecture internationally on our research related to CO pathophysiology, vasculogenic stem cells, inflammatory microparticles, neutrophil adhesion and therapeutic mechanisms of action pertaining to hyperbaric oxygen. I am the lead/senior author on over 120 peer reviewed papers, 40 reviews or textbook chapters and co-edited a text Physiology and Medicine of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. 

Research Interests

In addition to interest in clinical Emergency Medicine, I am heavily involved in bench research assessing pathophysiological mechanisms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning, hypercapnia, decompression sickness and diabetic foot ulcers. These seemingly disparate interests have common inflammatory pathways. Our recent work focuses on blood-borne inflammatory extracellular vesicles and vasculogenic stem cells. Research grants have been focused on biochemical and physiological responses to oxidative stress. This work has led to discoveries of the propensity for hyperbaric oxygen to transiently impair neutrophil b2 integrin function, to increase vasculogenic stem cell mobilization and improve vessel-forming function due to protein modifications, and to modify inflammasome formation with alterations in cytokine production. Parallel studies have elucidated oxidative mechanisms linked to elevated pressures of noble gases and to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.