Thomas P. Mathews earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Virginia and stayed to complete a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry. Following his thesis work, Dr. Mathews pursued postdoctoral fellowships at The Scripps Research Institute and Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he studied lipid metabolism and lipid signaling networks. In 2014, Dr. Mathews was awarded a fellowship through Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop new tests for environmental and industrial toxins at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Mathews joined the Morrison lab at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern in 2017 as a senior research scientist focused on the development of mass spectrometry-based metabolomics methods.

In 2020, Dr. Mathews joined the CRI faculty as an assistant professor. He is studying how the lipid composition of a cell’s membrane sensitizes it to environmental stressors and prevents the growth and spread of cancer.

Research Summary

Research Interest

  • Cancer metabolism
  • Lipidomics
  • Metabolomics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Lymph protects metastasizing melanoma cells from ferroptosis.
Ubellacker JM, Tasdogan A, Ramesh V, Shen B, Mitchell EC, Martin-Sandoval MS, Gu Z, McCormick ML, Durham AB, Spitz DR, Zhao Z, Mathews TP, Morrison SJ, Nature 2020 Sep 585 7823 113-118
Metabolic heterogeneity confers differences in melanoma metastatic potential.
Tasdogan A, Faubert B, Ramesh V, Ubellacker JM, Shen B, Solmonson A, Murphy MM, Gu Z, Gu W, Martin M, Kasitinon SY, Vandergriff T, Mathews TP, Zhao Z, Schadendorf D, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ, Nature 2020 01 577 7788 115-120
High-Confidence Qualitative Identification of Organophosphorus Nerve Agent Adducts to Human Butyrylcholinesterase.
Mathews TP, Carter MD, Johnson D, Isenberg SL, Graham LA, Thomas JD, Johnson RC, Anal. Chem. 2017 02 89 3 1955-1964
Human phospholipase D activity transiently regulates pyrimidine biosynthesis in malignant gliomas.
Mathews TP, Hill S, Rose KL, Ivanova PT, Lindsley CW, Brown HA, ACS Chem. Biol. 2015 May 10 5 1258-68
Biomarkers of NAFLD progression: a lipidomics approach to an epidemic.
Gorden DL, Myers DS, Ivanova PT, Fahy E, Maurya MR, Gupta S, Min J, Spann NJ, McDonald JG, Kelly SL, Duan J, Sullards MC, Leiker TJ, Barkley RM, Quehenberger O, Armando AM, Milne SB, Mathews TP, Armstrong MD, Li C, Melvin WV, Clements RH, Washington MK, Mendonsa AM, Witztum JL, Guan Z, Glass CK, Murphy RC, Dennis EA, Merrill AH, Russell DW, Subramaniam S, Brown HA, J. Lipid Res. 2015 Mar 56 3 722-36
Sum of the parts: mass spectrometry-based metabolomics.
Milne SB, Mathews TP, Myers DS, Ivanova PT, Brown HA, Biochemistry 2013 Jun 52 22 3829-40
Sphingosine kinase type 1 inhibition reveals rapid turnover of circulating sphingosine 1-phosphate.
Kharel Y, Mathews TP, Gellett AM, Tomsig JL, Kennedy PC, Moyer ML, Macdonald TL, Lynch KR, Biochem. J. 2011 Dec 440 3 345-53

Honors & Awards

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Innovation Fund (iFund) Award Recipient
  • Charles C. Shepard Science Award, Litchi Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health T32 Training Award for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Burger Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Virginia