Thomas Robert Sutter obtained his BS (1980) from St. Bonaventure University, NY, and Ph.D. (1988) from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His dissertation research focused on the isolation and characterization of the yeast cytochrome P450 14a-demethylase and its reductase, essential enzymes for the synthesis of membrane sterols, a pathway that is a primary target for antifungal agents. He completed postdoctoral training at CIIT, Research Triangle Park, NC and then joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University in 1991 where he was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the School of Public Health. He joined the faculty of the University of Memphis in 1999 and is holder of the W. Harry Feinstone Chair of Excellence in Functional Genomics.
Research in this laboratory is focused on understanding the causation and prevention of cancer. Topics include receptor-mediated carcinogenesis, the metabolism of hormones, dietary and xenobiotic compounds, chemoprevention of cancer and genetic susceptibility. Our approach to these topics has utilized gene expression assays to identify components of the cancer process. The mechanistic role of these genes is determined using a multifaceted approach that entails cloning of potential genes of interest, expression of recombinant protein for enzymatic characterization, overexpression in cell lines appropriate for the assessment of function, and if fully justified, the development of transgenic animal models for the gene of interest.