Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., is one of the nation's leading scholars on community-based interventions designed to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Dr. Thomas is a tenured Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health and Founding Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland in College Park. He applies his expertise to address a variety of conditions from which minorities generally face far poorer outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and HIV/AIDS. Currently, he is principal investigator of the Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity, and Health Disparities Research, funded by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Dr. Thomas has received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments including, but not limited to, the Alonzo Smyth Yerby Award from the Harvard School of Public Health and the David Satcher Award from the Directors of Health Promotion and Education. His work has been recognized as one of the scholarly contributions leading to the 1997 Presidential Apology to Survivors of the Syphilis Study Done at Tuskegee. His current research focuses on the translation of evidence-based science on chronic disease into innovative community-based interventions designed to accelerate the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. More specifically, he has focused on understanding how social context shapes attitudes and behaviors of underserved, poorly served, and never-served segments of our society toward participation in health promotion and disease prevention activities. Dr. Thomas is particularly interested in how the legacy of the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee (1932–1972) has impacted trust and influenced the willingness of African Americans to participate in medical and public health research.