Department of Cellular and Structural Biology

CSB Faculty


Thomas S. King, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Medical University of South Carolina, 1980


MED 231D
(210) 567-3899


Dr. King is a Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He has faculty appointments in both the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology and the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology.


Dr. King has been an NIDA-funded research scientist but now devotes the majority of his efforts and time to teaching, in the School of Medicine (SOM). Dr. King is one of a number of faculty central to the design and implementation of a new and highly innovative, clinically-integrated medical school curriculum at UTHSCSA.


He is a member of the university's task force coordinating curriculum development and evaluation with the Institute for Transformational Learning (ITL; University of Texas System). He has been a member of the Transformation in Medical Education (TIME), a UT System-Wide Task Force created to come up with innovative designs for the future of medical education.


He is very active as an instructor throughout the preclinical curriculum, as a module co-director, as histology discipline coordinator and as co-director of and instructor in the histopathology teaching laboratories. With major funding from AT&T, he was instrumental in developing Virtual Microscopy for Health Professionals (VMHP), currently used in these histopathology teaching laboratories.


Dr. King has been very active as a member of the Medical Curriculum Committee and the Medical Admissions Committee (Selection Subgroup).


Over the course of more than three decades of teaching in the medical school, Dr. King has received various teaching accolades and awards including the very prestigious University of Texas System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award in the summer of 2014. In the spring of 2015, Dr. King was named a Piper Professor (Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation). Dr. King is an active member in the University of Texas Academy of Health Sciences Education.

Dr. King's past research interests was a component of a larger, interdepartmental collaboration with a primary focus on the regulation of hypothalamic GnRH secretion. Several years ago, his collaborative group examined an immortalized neuronal cell line (GT1-7) which secretes GnRH in pulses in a manner similar to pulsatile secretion of GnRH from the rat hypothalamus in vitro and the hypothalamus of ovariectomized rats in situ. Secretion of GnRH from these cells can be stimulated by numerous secretogogues including GABAA receptor agonists such as muscimol. GABAergic mechanisms regulating GnRH secretion from these cells is of particular interest since various chemical substances are know to alter reproductive function via activity at these receptor complexes.



Dr. King was also an active participant in an interdepartmental research group focusing on neural plasticity in the CNS regulation of blood pressure. He was involved in studies related to hypothalamic glutamate uptake and release. The group was also involved in studies to define the actions of CRH and glucocorticoids (e.g., cortisol or corticosterone) to modulate such neural plasticity in relation to chronic stress.

Representative Publications:
Chen EC, Javors MA, Norris C, Siler-Khodr T, Schenken RS, King TS. (2004) Dependence of 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate--stimulated gonadotropin-releasing hormone release on intracellular calcium levels and L-type calcium channels in superfused GT1-7 neurons. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2004 Sep;11(6):393-8.


M.A. Javors, P. Bean, T.S. King, and R.F.Anton. (2003) Biochemical Markers for Alcohol Consumption. In: Handbook of Clinical Alcoholism Treatment (B.A. Johnson, P. Ruiz and M. Galanter, eds.) Baltimore. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, pp. 62 - 79, 2003.


King TS, McNichol M, Canez MS, Javors MA, Schenken RS. (2001) Effect of acute administration of cocaine on pituitary gonadotrophin secretion in female rats. Reproduction. 2001 Nov;122(5):723-9.


Javors MA, Sanchez JJ, King TS, Rohde AR, Wilson SG, Flores CM. (2001) Extraction and quantification of epibatidine in plasma. J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 2001 May 5;755(1-2):379-82.


King TS, Potter D, Kang IS, Norris C, Chen E, Schenken RS, Javors MA. (1999) Concentration dependent effect of muscimol to enhance pulsatile GnRH release from GT1-7 neurons in vitro. Brain Res. 1999 Apr 3;824(1):56-62.