Dr. De Tomaso received his BS degree in Biology from Stanford University and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His doctoral thesis focused on understanding the mechanisms of multi-subunit protein assembly and targeting, using the rodent Na,K-ATPase. Following completion of his PhD, Dr. De Tomaso was a NIH fellow in the laboratory of Irv Weissman at Stanford University, where he worked on both delineating the molecular mechanisms which underlie allorecognition in the primitive chordate, Botryllus schlosseri, as well as understanding the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration in this organism.
Research in our lab is based around the phenomenon of self/non-self recognition (allorecognition) in a primitive chordate organism, Botryllus schlosseri. This allorecognition reaction links a number of disparate fields, including immunology, stem cell, developmental, and evolutionary biology, and also has ecological consequences. Several unique aspects of the Botryllus life history make it a novel, experimentally accessible model organism to ask pertinent questions in these distinct disciplines.