Thomas trained in Chemistry and Biology and earned a PhD in Biology at the University of Mainz, Germany. In 1991, after several years of research at Michigan State University, USA, he worked in R&D, marketing and sales positions in multinational pharmaceutical companies in various countries. Thomas began his industry career and worked for 7 years at Knoll AG (BASF Pharma), Germany, and then joined Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland. For both companies, as a Global Project Leader, he led international cross-functional teams of specialists in the development of new drugs, life-cycle management and brand defense of marketed products and in-licensing and co-promotion activities. In 2000, Thomas joined the start-up company, Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Switzerland, as one of the first 60 employees and helped transform the company in into one of largest biopharmaceutical companies in Europe. In 2002, Thomas founded Actelion in Brazil and served as President until joining Burrill Brasil as Director in 2011.