Tom Thomas Cunningham, PhD

Tom Cunningham, PhD

Interim Chair & Professor - Physiology and Anatomy
Physiology and Anatomy
Research interests:Neuroscience

Dr. Tom Cunningham joined UNTHSC along with the department chair to grow the Department of Integrative Physiology to world-class status. His mission is to lead the Cardiovascular Research Institute, where students study the role of the brain in controlling the cardiovascular system as well as water and electrolyte balance.

Some of Dr. Cunningham’s research focuses on determining how the brain participates in the normal regulation of blood pressure and fluid balance, a process called homeostasis. Other studies explore how changes in central nervous system function contribute to chronic diseases like hypertension and water or salt retention that can be associated with heart disease or liver failure.

The objective of the department’s research is to identify new ways to treat these and other afflictions and improve the quality of people's lives. Such research is expected to provide a better understanding of the ways that the brain regulates physiological processes that are necessary for a normal, healthy life.

Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Steve Mifflin, Chair of Integrative Physiology, came to UNTHSC in 2010 from UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Academic:Doctor of Philosophy, Biopsychology, University of Iowa

Master of Science, Biopsychology, University of Iowa

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Eastern Illinois University



Honors:2013 - Star Reviewer for American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, American Physiological Society

2013 - Golden Apple, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

2012 - UNTHSC President's Faculty Award for Research

2000, 1998 - Excellence in Pre-Clinical Medical Education, Medical Student Affairs Council, University of Missouri-Columbia

2000 - Spurgeon Distinguished Medical Research Award, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine