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Robert Thimme Profile Page
Robert Thimme


Lab: Prof. Dr. Robert Thimme
Department: Department of Medicine
University Medical Center
Phone: 270 32800
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Immunology and Virology
Research Interests: Identification and characterization of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses during HBV and HCV infection ( intrahepatic T cell responses and mechanisms of viral persistence)


Education & Training: 1989-1996: MD, Medicine, Free University of Berlin and Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany
Employment & Experience: 1993-1995: Doctoral thesis in the Department of Virology (Head: Prof. Otto Haller), University of Freiburg, honor: summa cum laude
1995: Clinical Observer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Head: Prof. John Mendelsohn), New York (USA)
1996-1998: MD in the Department of Medicine II (Head: Prof. Hubert E. Blum), University of Freiburg
1998-2001: Research Associate at the Scripps Research Institute (Head: Prof. Francis V. Chisari)
2002-present: Junior Group leader in the Emmy Noether Programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Department of Medicine II (Head: Prof. Hubert E. Blum), University of Freiburg
2004-present: Junior Professor for hepatitisvirusinfections in the Department of Medicine II (Head: Prof. Hubert E. Blum), University of Freiburg
2009-present W2/W3-Heisenberg-Professor for Hepatology
Scientific Activities: 2005-present Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Gastroenterology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, World Journal of Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology, Langenbeck´s Archives of Surgery, Frontiers in Virology
1999-present Member, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, European Society of Clinical Virology, German Association for Internal Medicine, German Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, The European Association for the Study of the Liver, German Association for Gastroenterology
2000-present regular reviewer of Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Virology, Journal of Immunology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, European Journal of Immunology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, The Lancet, Blood, Liver Transplantation, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Vaccine, Liver International, International Journal of Virology, Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
2000-present regular reviewer for Grant agencies DFG, Swiss National Science Foundation, Welcome Trust, INSERM, French National Cancer Institute, DAAD, Medical Research Council, Dutch Digestive Foundation
2006-2007 programme committee German Association for the study of liver diseases (GASL)
2009-present Scientific Secretary of the German Association for the Study of Liver diseases (GASL)


Honors and Awards:

1994 Ludwig Heilmeyer Price of the University of Freiburg for best experimental doctoral thesis
1998-2000 DFG Postdoctoral Fellowship
2000 American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) Research Award
2000-2003 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award of the Cancer Research Institute, New York, USA
2001-2007 DFG Emmy Noether-Programme
2001 Research Award of the American Liver Foundation, San Diego, USA
2002 Junior Investigator Award International HCV Meeting
2003 Heine Medin Award of the European Society of Clinical Virology
2004/2005 Elected into the International Emerging Leaders Programme of Gastroenterology.
2007 Thieme Award for Medicine from Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
2007 Kussmaul-Price of Gastroenterology
2007 Dr. Norbert Henning Award, University Erlangen
2008- DFG Heisenberg Professorship


Selected Publications:

Seigel B, Bengsch B, Lohmann V, Blum HE, Thimme R. (2013) Factors that determine the antiviral efficacy of HCV-specific CD8+ T cells ex vivo. Gastroenterology, 144(2):426-36. Abstract

Schmidt J, Iversen A, Tenzer, Gosticke, Priced, Lohmann V, Distler U, Bowness P, Schild, Blum HE, Klenerman P, Neumann-Haefelin C., Thimme R. (2012) Rapid antigen processing and presentation of a protective and immunodominant HLA-B*27-restricted Hepatitis C virus-specific CD8+ T-cell epitope. PLoS Pathog., 8(11):e1003042. Abstract

Bengsch B, Seigel B, Flecken T, Wolanski J, Blum HE, Thimme R. (2012) Human Th17 cells express high levels of enzymatically active Dipeptidylpeptidase IV (CD26). J Immunol., 188(11):5438-47. Abstract

Neumann-Haefelin C, Timm J, Schmidt J, Kersting N, Fitzmaurice K, Oniangue-Ndza C, Kemper MN, Humphreys I, McKiernan S, Kelleher D, Lohmann V, Bowness P, Huzly D, Rosen HR, Kim AY, Lauer GM, Allen TM, Barnes E, Roggendorf M, Blum HE, Thimme R. (2010) Protective effect of human leukocyte antigen B27 in hepatitis C virus infection requires the presence of a genotype-specific immunodominant CD8+ T-cell epitope. Hepatology, 51(1):54-62. Abstract

Bengsch B, Seigel B, Ruhl M, Timm J, Kuntz M, Blum HE, Pircher H, Thimme R. (2010) Coexpression of PD-1, 2B4, CD160 and KLRG1 on exhausted HCV-specific CD8+ T cells is linked to antigen recognition and T cell differentiation. PLoS Pathog. 10;6(6):e1000947 Abstract

Billerbeck E, Kang YH, Walker L, Lockstone H, Grafmueller S, Fleming V, Flint J, Willberg CB, Bengsch B, Seigel B, Ramamurthy N, Zitzmann N, Barnes EJ, Thevanayagam J, Bhagwanani A, Leslie A, Oo YH, Kollnberger S, Bowness P, Drognitz O, Adams DH, Blum HE, Thimme R, Klenerman P. (2010) Analysis of CD161 expression on human CD8+ T cells defines a distinct functional subset with tissue-homing properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 107(7):3006-11. Abstract

Jo J, Aichele U, Kersting N, Klein R, Aichele P, Bisse E, Sewell AK, Blum HE, Bartenschlager R, Lohmann V, Thimme R. (2009) Analysis of CD8+ T cell-mediated inhibition of hepatitis C virus replication using a novel immunological model. Gastroenterology,136(4):1391-401. Abstract

Dazert E, Neumann-Haefelin C, Bressanelli S, Fitzmaurice K, Kort J, Timm J, McKiernan S, Kelleher D, Gruener N, Tavis JE, Rosen HR, Shaw J, Bowness P, Blum HE, Klenerman P, Bartenschlager R, Thimme R. (2009) Loss of viral fitness and cross-recognition by CD8+ T cells limit HCV escape from a protective HLA-B27-restricted human immune response. J Clin Invest., 119(2):376-86. Abstract

Neumann-Haefelin C, Timm J, Spangenberg HC, Wischnowski N, Nazarova N, Kersting N, Roggendorf M, Allen TM, Blum HE, Thimme R. (2008) Virological and immunological determinants of intrahepatic virus-specific CD8+ T cell failure in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Hepatology, 47(6): 1824-36. Abstract

Thimme R, Neagu M, Boettler T, Neumann-Haefelin C, Kersting N, Geissler M, Makowiec F, Obermaier R, Hopt UT, Blum HE, Spangenberg HC. (2008) Comprehensive analysis of the alpha-fetoprotein-specific CD8+ T cell responses in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology, 48(6):1821-33. Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Track 2:
Tobias Flecken (since January 2011)
Alexander Hoh (since April 2012)
Dominik Wieland (since October 2013)

Track 1:
Bertram Bengsch (04/2009 - 02/2013)
Juandy Jo (11/2007 - 05/2010)

Track 2:
Eva Billerbeck (07/2005 - 03/2009)
Bianca Seigel (06/2008 - 05/2012)

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