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  • photo of thomas hamm

    Contact Dr. Hamm

    [email protected]

    Thomas Hamm, PhD

    Professor, Neurobiology (602) 406-3731

    Dr. Thomas Hamm is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Barrow Neurological Institute. His laboratory conducts a basic research on the function and organization of spinal neurons involved in the generation and control of movement and neural adaptations to spinal cord injury. The goals of this research program, which has been supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health and Barrow Neurological Foundation, are to identify the critical properties of spinal cord neurons and their contributions to coordinated movement. It is hoped that this knowledge will lead to the development of interventions to accelerate and enhance recovery from diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord.

    Dr. Hamm received a BS in mathematics and physics from the University of Memphis and a PhD in physiology from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in Memphis working with Dr. Lloyd D. Partridge. He subsequently worked with Dr. Douglas G. Stuart at the University of Arizona to investigate functions of the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system in the control of movement before taking a position at Barrow Neurological Institute in 1985.

    With a background in mathematics, physics, and systems physiology and neurobiology, Dr. Hamm’s research has been characterized by demanding electrophysiological recordings, application of methods from engineering, systems, and neuroscience research, as well as the use of modeling and simulation. These studies have provided novel information on the properties and organization of spinal cord motor neurons and some of the key spinal networks that control them.

    While working at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Dr. Hamm has maintained academic ties to the two largest state universities in Arizona, collaborating with investigators at both institutions and holding joint and adjunct appointments in Physiology at the University of Arizona and the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. He also participates in graduate education and collaborative research with scientists at both institutions. These efforts include teaching graduate neuroscience classes, service on doctoral committees, and participation in an NIH-sponsored graduate training program and service on the executive committee for an NSF-sponsored IGERT training program.

    Education & Training
    • PhD, Center for Health Sciences, University of Tennessee, Physiology, 1979
    • BS, Memphis State University, Physics, Mathematics, 1971
    Professional Memberships
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • American Physiological Society
    • Society for Neuroscience
    Honors and Awards
    • Health Care Hero, Researcher or Scientist Category, Phoenix Business Journal, 2005
    • Participant, National Academy of Science Interacademy Exchange Program, 1985
    • USPHS New Investigator Research Award, University of Arizona, 1982-1985
    • USPHS National Research Service Award, 1980-1982
    • USPHS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Neurophysiological Studies, Department of Physiology Training Program, University of Arizona, 1979-1980
    Selected Publications
    1. Jesunathadas M, Laitano J, Hamm TM, Santello M. Across-muscle coherence is modulated as a function of wrist posture during two-digit grasping. Neurosci Lett. Oct 11 2013;553:68-71.
    2. Venugopal S, Hamm TM, Jung R. Differential contributions of somatic and dendritic calcium-dependent potassium currents to the control of motoneuron excitability following spinal cord injury. Cogn Neurodyn. Jun 2012;6(3):283-293.
    3. Venugopal S, Hamm TM, Crook SM, Jung R. Modulation of inhibitory strength and kinetics facilitates regulation of persistent inward currents and motoneuron excitability following spinal cord injury. J Neurophysiol. Nov 2011;106(5):2167-2179.
    4. Turkin VV, O’Neill D, Jung R, Iarkov A, Hamm TM. Characteristics and organization of discharge properties in rat hindlimb motoneurons. J Neurophysiol. Sep 2010;104(3):1549-1565.
    5. Poston B, Danna-Dos Santos A, Jesunathadas M, Hamm TM, Santello M. Force-independent distribution of correlated neural inputs to hand muscles during three-digit grasping. J Neurophysiol. Aug 2010;104(2):1141-1154.
    6. Johnston JA, Formicone G, Hamm TM, Santello M. Assessment of across-muscle coherence using multi-unit vs. single-unit recordings. Exp Brain Res. Dec 2010;207(3-4):269-282.
    7. Hamm TM, Turkin VV, Bandekar NK, O’Neill D, Jung R. Persistent currents and discharge patterns in rat hindlimb motoneurons. J Neurophysiol. Sep 2010;104(3):1566-1577.
    8. Danna-Dos Santos A, Poston B, Jesunathadas M, Bobich LR, Hamm TM, Santello M. Influence of fatigue on hand muscle coordination and EMG-EMG coherence during three-digit grasping. J Neurophysiol. Dec 2010;104(6):3576-3587.
    9. Maltenfort MG, McCurdy ML, Phillips CA, Turkin VV, Hamm TM. Location and magnitude of conductance changes produced by Renshaw recurrent inhibition in spinal motoneurons. J Neurophysiol. Sep 2004;92(3):1417-1432.
    10. Maltenfort MG, Hamm TM. Estimation of the electrical parameters of spinal motoneurons using impedance measurements. J Neurophysiol. Sep 2004;92(3):1433-1444.

    About Barrow Neurological Institute
    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.