Thomas A. Kent

Thomas A. Kent

Robert A. Welch Chair Professor

Adjunct Professor: Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology and Methodist Research Institute, Houston Methodist Hospital

Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine
2121 W. Holcombe Blvd, Suite 1004
Houston, TX   77030

Phone: 713-677-7523

Education and Training


Medical Doctor
University of Kansas Medical Center, 1979

Bachelor of Arts Economics, Pre-Medicine
University of Kansas, 1976


Fellow in Electro-Analytical Chemistry, 1985-1988
University of Kansas 

Residency, Neurology, 1984-1985
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Fellow in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 1982-1984
University of Kansas Medical Center

Residency, Psychiatry, 1980-1983
University of Kansas Medical Center



Research Interests

Neurologist and clinician scientist with a basic, translational and clinical research program, focused mostly on stroke and other brain injuries while sharing common pathophysiology with neurodegenerative disorders affecting cognition and brain health.  The laboratory utilizes a variety of cell free, tissue culture and in-vivo techniques to design and characterize a series of carbon nanomaterials that possess the ability to act as catalytic anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and support key mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation functions. This NIH-supported research is testing a variety of engineered modifications of these versatile, non-toxic materials to address specific cell injury and death mechanisms including ferroptosis and disorders of electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation.  Commercialization of discoveries is a major focus of the lab. Collaborators include Paul Derry, PhD (IBT, TAMHSC), James Tour, PhD (Chemistry, Rice University) and Ah-Lim Tsai, PhD (Medicine, UT Health Science Center, Houston). Dr. Kent also co-directs the Analytical SoftWare and Engineering Research (ANSWER) Laboratory (with Pitchaiah Mandava, MD, PhD, MSEE, Baylor College of Medicine), to develop novel analytical approaches using engineering principles of quantifying uncertainty, to analyze complex pre-clinical and clinical trial data in order to identify promising therapies at early stages.  Clinical research is supported by a State of Texas initiative, Lone Star Stroke, in which methods are under study to extend state of the art stroke care using telemedicine and other technologies to remote areas of Texas, where stroke burden is high. This program is a longstanding collaboration with Jane Anderson, PHD, APN (Baylor College of Medicine).  A major interest of lab is the role and mechanism of diabetes in worsening outcome from stroke, a condition that affects minority and rural Texans disproportionally. With a range of research from molecular interactions to whole animal and clinical studies, the work in this lab is deeply translational, leveraging the group’s clinical training and experience to insure that conclusions have direct relevance to the disease state, with the ultimate goal of facilitating the identification of new therapies for these major contributors to disability and mortality.


Selected Publications

Derry PJ, Nilewski LG, Sikkema WKA, Mendoza K, Jalilov A, Berka V, McHugh EA, Tsai AL, Tour JM*, Kent TA*. Catalytic oxidation and reduction reactions of hydrophilic carbon clusters with NADH and cytochrome C: features of an electron transport nanozyme. Nanoscale. 2019 Jun 6;11(22):10791-10807. doi: 10.1039/c9nr00807a. PMID:31134256

Alexandrov AV, Köhrmann M, Soinne L, Tsivgoulis G, Barreto AD, Demchuk AM, Sharma VK, Mikulik R, Muir KW, Brandt G, Alleman J, Grotta JC, Levi CR, Molina CA, Saqqur M, Mavridis D, Psaltopoulou T, Vosko M, Fiebach JB, Mandava P, Kent TA, Alexandrov AW, Schellinger PD; CLOTBUST-ER Trial Investigators. Safety and efficacy of sonothrombolysis for acute ischaemic stroke: a multicentre, double-blind, phase 3, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2019 Apr;18(4):338-347. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30026-2. PMID:30878103

Fabian, RH, Derry, PH, Rea, HC, Dalmeida, WV, Nilewski, LG. Sikkema, WKA, Mandava, P, Tsai, A-L, Mendoza, K, Berka, V, Tour, JM, Kent TA. Efficacy of Novel Carbon Nanoparticle Antioxidant Therapy in a Severe Model of Reversible Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke in Acutely Hyperglycemic Rats. Frontiers in Neurology. 2018 Sept 4.

Derry PJ, Kent TA.  Correlating quantitative susceptibility mapping with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. Brain. 2017 Aug 1;140(8):2069-2072. doi: 10.1093/brain/awx167.

Jalilov AS, Zhang C, Samuel EL, Sikkema WK, Wu G, Berka V, Kent TA*, Tsai AL*, Tour JM*. Mechanistic Study of the Conversion of Superoxide to Oxygen and Hydrogen Peroxide in Carbon Nanoparticles. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Jun 22;8(24):15086-92.

Kent TA, Mandava P.  Embracing biological variance in a new approach to pre-clinical trial testing. Translational Stroke Research, 2016 Aug;7(4):274-83.

Marcano, D, Samuel, EL, Tsai, N*, Kent, TA*, Tour*, J. Highly efficient conversion of superoxide using hydrophilic carbon clusters. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 24;112(8):2343-8.

My-Linh V, Samuel EL, Marcano D, Bittner, BR, Tour JM*, Kent TA*, Hydrophilic carbon clusters as Novel Antioxidants. Trends in Biotechnology. 2014 Aug 28.

Kunte, H, Busch, Markus A,  Trostdorf, K, Vollnberg, B, Harms, L, Castellani, RJ, Mandava P, Kent, TA., Simard, JM.  Symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation of acute ischemic stroke in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with sulfonylureas. Ann Neurol. 2012 Nov;72(5):799-806.

Bitner, BR, Berlin, JM, Dalmedia, WR, Fabian RH, Pautler R, Robertson CR, Kent, TA*, Tour J*, Antioxidant carbon nanotubes protect brain endothelial cells and improve cerebrovascular regulation following traumatic brain injury.  ACS Nano. 2012 Sep 25;6(9):8007-14.

Simard JM, Kent, T.A., Chen, M, et al. Molecular mechanisms of focal ischemic edema: A focused review. Lancet Neurology. 2007 Mar;6(3):258-68.

Fabian, R.H., Perez-Polo, R.J., Kent, T.A. Perivascular nitric oxide and superoxide in neonatal hypoxia-ischemia.  American Journal of Physiology, Heart Circ Physiol, 2008 Oct;295(4):H1809-14.

Additional publications can be found on PubMed.