Kelley Thomas
Distinguished Professor Award, 2021

Where to start in summarizing the accomplishments and impact Professor Kelley Thomas has had on UNH? Since Kelley’s arrival in 2002, the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies that he directs has enabled groundbreaking scientific discoveries—not just in his own laboratory, but by a multitude of researchers at UNH and internationally with whom he has generously shared his time and expertise. His record of scholarly publications attests not only to his productivity and impact on the fields of molecular evolution and environmental genomics, but also to his philosophy of conducting collaborative, interdisciplinary research that serves to advance the careers of those with whom he collaborates.

Kelley’s impact extends to the classroom, where he seamlessly integrates state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools with his deep understanding of genome biology that encompasses microbial to human genomics. He has amplified his impact on student learning by also developing a series of NIH-funded bioinformatics training workshops for faculty to accelerate dissemination of the bioinformatic tools so critical for understanding the human genome as well as the complexity of the biosphere.

Kelley’s service is most recently exemplified by his scientific leadership in creating the COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. UNH’s ability to maintain on-campus learning experiences for students during the pandemic can be directly attributed to Kelley’s tireless efforts to create the high-throughput clinical diagnostics lab that will have processed over 1 million specimens by the end of this year.

Kelley’s accomplishments are matched by his modesty and generous spirit, his passion for mentoring genome-enabled scientists, and his commitment to rigor in all endeavors. UNH is stronger because of Professor Kelley Thomas’s two decades of leadership in the molecular life sciences.


About This Award

The purpose of this award is to identify and honor longstanding members of the UNH faculty. This singular university-wide award will be given each year to the faculty member whose overall record of excellent teaching, caring about students, devotion to the university community, and substantial record of scholarly achievement exemplifies what we would call a "distinguished longstanding career" at UNH. Each year there will be no more than one Distinguished Professor Award. Long-term UNH tenure-track faculty members at the rank of professor are eligible.