James B. Thomas

Senior Research Chemist


  • PhD, Chemistry, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • BS, Chemistry, Lander College
  • AS, Underwater Technology, Florida Institute of Technology

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James Thomas, PhD, is a senior research chemist with more than 20 years of experience in chemistry research. Dr. Thomas manages a program of drug discovery that focuses on treatments for methamphetamine abuse, neuropathic pain, and cancer therapy by looking for compounds that target the G-protein-coupled receptors of the neurotensin receptor system.

In this research, he and his colleagues at RTI have identified several categories of small-molecule ligands that are selective for the neurotensin 2 receptor, and are now in the process of optimizing the pharmacokinetic properties of these new compounds.

During his tenure at RTI, Dr. Thomas has also worked closely with Dr. Ivy Carroll on his opioid project and designed solution-phase libraries in search of novel kappa opioid receptor antagonists. Further explorations led to his discovery of a super potent and selective kappa opioid receptor antagonist, named JDTic, which has subsequently been entered into clinical tests in humans.