Dr Teresa Thomas PhD, FRSB, PGCE (HE), SFHEA, HEFi Scholar

Dr Teresa Thomas

Institute of Clinical Sciences
Head of Education, School of Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences

Contact details

School of Biomedical Sciences
Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Teresa Thomas is an Associate Professor and Head of Education in the School of Biomedical Sciences, based in the Institute of Clinical Sciences.

Her research interests are now in educational research with an emphasis on academic integrity and access and participation. She is the College of Medical and Dental Sciences Lead for Academic Integrity. She works closely with other academics to support students in understanding good academic integrity and with HEFi to promote good academic integrity in assessment design. She has been invited to lecture externally on academic and research integrity.

Teresa is a cardiorespiratory physiologist with teaching responsibilities across a large number of the Institute of Clinical Sciences’ undergraduate programmes. Her past research interests were centred on the neural control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. She has in the past received grants from British Heart Foundation, BBSRC and the Royal Society.


  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, 2017
  • PGCert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, 2005
  • PhD Physiology, 1993
  • BSc Biological Sciences, 1990


Teresa qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham in 1990. She went on to complete a PhD in the then Department of Physiology in 1993. Teresa then moved to the Royal Free Hospital (UCL) in London to join the Autonomic Neuroscience Institute for a postdoctoral position. During that time Teresa also held Visiting Research Fellowships at Monash University, Australia and Georg Augst University in Göttingen, Germany. 

After receiving a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship Teresa returned to Birmingham to set up a research laboratory. She was awarded a lectureship with the University in 2000 and a senior lectureship in 2008.

Whilst starting out as young researcher Teresa completed the PGCertLTHE and became a Fellow of the HEA in 2007. Her interest in education increased in subsequent years and she now concentrates solely on scholarship in teaching and educational research. She was made a Senior Fellow of the HEA in 2017 and a HEFi Scholar in 2019.

With overall responsibility for academic integrity in MDS, Teresa has many years’ experience of embedding good academic integrity into curricula and supporting staff to develop and design teaching materials and assessment that promote good academic integrity. She works closely with HEFi and has been responsible for developing resources across the University to support staff in assessment design.


Teaching across wide subject areas but with particular expertise in cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, autonomic mechanisms and neuroscience.

Contributes to following programmes:

Delivery of teaching and resources promoting academic integrity and plagiarism on all UG and PG programmes.


Current Research

Teresa’s main research focus is now in Teaching & Scholarship, specifically interested in academic integrity and plagiarism, designing assessment, widening participation and transition to university

Previous Research

The main emphasis of Teresa’s laboratory research was the control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Her research centred on chemoreceptor mechanisms and the role of purine neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in those control systems. She used a variety of in vivo neurophysiological and pharmacological techniques.

Other activities

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • HEFi Scholar
  • Member of the Physiological Society 


Ray,C. & Thomas, T. (2015)  Providing students with opportunities to test their understanding of key physiological principles: the challenge of curriculum congestion and large cohorts. Proc. Physiol. Soc. 34, PC185

Thomas, T. & Leadbeater, W. (2011) Assessing students perception of feedback. Proc Physiol. Soc. 23, PC1

Thomas, T., Ralevic, V., Bardini, M., Burnstock, G. & Spyer, K.M. (2001) Evidence for involvement of purinergic signalling in the control of respiration. Neuroscience 107, 481-490 

Spyer, K.M. & Thomas, T. (2000) Sensing arterial CO2 levels: a role for medullary P2X receptors. Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System 81, 228-35

Spyer, K.M. & Thomas, T. (2000) A role for adenosine in modulating cardio-respiratory responses: a mini-review. Brain Research Bulletin 53, 121-4

Thomas, T. & Spyer, K.M. (2000) ATP as a mediator of mammalian central CO2 chemoreception. Journal of Physiology (Rapid Report) 523,  441-447

King, B.F., Townsend-Nicholson, A., Wildman, S.S., Thomas, T., Spyer, K.M. & Burnstock, G. (2000) Coexpression of rat P2X2 and P2X6 subunits in Xenopus oocytes. Journal of Neuroscience 20, 4871-7

View all publications in research portal

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities