Robert Thimme

Prof. Dr.
Principal Investigator

Center for Medicine
Department of Medicine II
Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Hugstetter Straße 55
79106 Freiburg i. Brsg.

Current position

Director, Department of Medicine II, Center for Medicine, Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Academic training

1989 – 1996 Study of Medicine in Berlin and Freiburg

Scientific qualifications

2006 Habilitation in Internal Medicine, University of Freiburg
(Mentor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. H. E. Blum)
1994 Dissertation in Medicine, University of Freiburg
(Supervisor: Prof. Dr. O. Haller)

Postgraduate Positions

since 2013 Director, Department of Medicine II,
Medical Center - University of Freiburg
2012 – 2013 Assistant Director, Department of Medicine II, and Head of the Liver Center for Freiburg, Medical Center – University of Freiburg
since 2009 Heisenberg Professorship W2/W3 in Hepatology
2005 – 2009 Junior Professorship for Hepatitis Viral Infection,
University of Freiburg
2001 – 2005 Assistant physician, Department of Medicine II,
Medical Center – University of Freiburg
1998 – 2001 Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA
(Prof. Dr. F. V. Chisari)
1996 – 1998 Assistant physician, Department of Internal Medicine II,
Medical Center - University of Freiburg

Miscellaneous (Honors, Awards)

2021 Elected member to the DFG Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres
2020 Elected member to German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
2007 Thieme Prize for Medicine of the Leopoldina Academy for natural scientists
2007 Kußmaul Prize of the „Südwestdeutschen Gesellschaft für Gastroenterologie“
2007 Dr. Norbert-Henning Prize for Gastroenterology,
University of Erlangen
2003 Heine Medin Award of the European Society of Clinical Virology
2002 Emmy Noether Program DFG
2002 Research Award of the American Liver Foundation, San Diego, USA
1994 Ludwig Heilmeyer Prize of the University of Freiburg

link to all publications from R. Thimme: Pubmed

Publications based on CRC1160 funding

Csernalabics B, Marinescu MS, Maurer L, Kelsch L, Werner J, Baumann K, Zoldan K, Panning M, Reuken P, Bruns T, Bengsch B, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M, Thimme R, Dao Thi VL, Boettler T. 2024. Efficient formation and maintenance of humoral and CD4 T-cell immunity targeting the viral capsid in acute-resolving hepatitis E infection. J Hepatol. 80(4):564-575. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2023.12.016.

du Halgouet A, Bruder K, Peltokangas N, Darbois A, Obwegs D, Salou M, Thimme R, Hofmann M, Lantz O, Sagar. 2024. Multimodal profiling reveals site-specific adaptation and tissue residency hallmarks of γδ T cells across organs in mice. Nat Immunol. 2024. 343-356. doi: 10.1038/s41590-023-01710-y.

du Halgouet A, Bruder K, Peltokangas N, Darbois A, Obwegs D, Salou M, Thimme R, Hofmann M, Lantz O, Sagar. 2024. Multimodal profiling reveals site-specific adaptation and tissue residency hallmarks of γδ T cells across organs in mice. Nat Immunol. 2024 Jan 4. doi: 10.1038/s41590-023-01710-y.

Csernalabics B, Marinescu MS, Maurer L, Kelsch L, Werner J, Baumann K, Zoldan K, Panning M, Reuken P, Bruns T, Bengsch B, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M, Thimme R, Dao Thi VL, Boettler T. 2023. Efficient formation and maintenance of humoral and CD4 T cell immunity targeting the viral capsid in acute-resolving hepatitis E infection. J Hepatol. Dec 26:S0168-8278(23)05370-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2023.12.016.

Winkler F, Hipp AV, Ramirez C, Martin B, Villa M, Neuwirt E, Gorka O, Aerssens J, Johansson SE, Rana N, Llewellyn-Lacey S, Price DA, Panning M, Groß O, Pearce EL, Hermann CM, Schumann K, Hannibal L, Neumann-Haefelin C, Boettler T, Knolle P, Hofmann M, Wohlleber D, Thimme R, Bengsch B. 2023. Enolase represents a metabolic checkpoint controlling the differential exhaustion programmes of hepatitis virus-specific CD8+ T cells. Gut. 72(10):1971-1984. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328734.

Luxenburger H, Reeg DB, Lang-Meli J, Reinscheid M, Eisner M, Bettinger D, Oberhardt V, Salimi Alizei E, Wild K, Graeser A, Karl V, Sagar, Emmerich F, Klein F, Panning M, Huzly D, Bengsch B, Boettler T, Elling R, Thimme R, Hofmann M, Neumann-Haefelin C. 2023. Boosting compromised SARS-CoV-2-specific immunity with mRNA vaccination in liver transplant recipients. J Hepatol. Feb 18:S0168-8278(23)00095-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2023.02.007.

Globig, A. M., V. Strohmeier, R. Surabattula, D. J. Leeming, M. A. Karsdal, M. Heeg, G. Kindle, S. Goldacker, C. von Spee-Mayer, M. Proietti, B. Bausch, D. Bettinger, M. Schultheiss, R. Thimme, D. Schuppan, and K. Warnatz. 2022. Evaluation of Laboratory and Sonographic Parameters for Detection of Portal Hypertension in Patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency. J Clin Immunol. pii: 10.1007/s10875-022-01319-0. doi: 10.1007/s10875-022-01319-0.

Ehl, S., and R. Thimme. 2022. Immune-mediated pathology as a consequence of impaired immune reactions: the IMPATH paradox. Eur J Immunol 52: 1386-1389. doi: 10.1002/eji.202250069.

Globig AM, Hipp AV, Otto-Mora P, Heeg M, Mayer LS, Ehl S, Schwacha H, Bewtra M, Tomov V, Thimme R, Hasselblatt P, Bengsch B. Nat Commun. 2022. High-dimensional profiling reveals Tc17 cell enrichment in active Crohn’s disease and identifies a potentially targetable signature. First published: 2022 Jun 27;13(1):3688. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31229-z. PMID: 35760777 Free PMC article.

Globig AM, Mayer LS, Heeg M, Andrieux G, Ku M, Otto-Mora P, Hipp A, Zoldan K, Pattekar A, Rana N, Schell C, Boerries M, Hofmann M, Neumann-Haefelin C, Kuellmer A, Schmidt A, Boettler T, Tomov V, Thimme R, Hasselblatt P, Bengsch B. Gastroenterology. 2022. Exhaustion of CD39-expressing CD8+ T cells in Crohn’s disease is linked to clinical outcome. First published: 2022 Jun 20:S0016-5085(22)00663-1. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2022.06.045. Online ahead of print.

Kemming, J., S. Gundlach, M. Panning, D. Huzly, J. Huang, M. Lutgehetmann, S. Pischke, J. Schulze Zur Wiesch, F. Emmerich, S. Llewellyn-Lacey, D. A. Price, Y. Tanriver, K. Warnatz, T. Boettler, R. Thimme, M. Hofmann, N. Fischer, and C. Neumann-Haefelin. 2022. Mechanisms of CD8+ T-cell failure in chronic hepatitis E virus infection. J Hepatol 77: 978-990. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.05.019.

Lang-Meli, J., H. Luxenburger, K. Wild, V. Karl, V. Oberhardt, E. Salimi Alizei, A. Graeser, M. Reinscheid, N. Roehlen, D. B. Reeg, S. Giese, K. Ciminski, V. Gotz, D. August, S. Rieg, C. F. Waller, T. Wengenmayer, D. Staudacher, D. Huzly, B. Bengsch, G. Kochs, M. Schwemmle, F. Emmerich, T. Boettler, R. Thimme, M. Hofmann, and C. Neumann-Haefelin. 2022. SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell epitope repertoire in convalescent and mRNA-vaccinated individuals. Nat Microbiol 7: 675-679. doi: 10.1038/s41564-022-01106-y.

Boettler, T., B. Csernalabics, H. Salie, H. Luxenburger, L. Wischer, E. Salimi Alizei, K. Zoldan, L. Krimmel, P. Bronsert, M. Schwabenland, M. Prinz, C. Mogler, C. Neumann-Haefelin, R. Thimme, M. Hofmann, and B. Bengsch. 2022. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination can elicit a CD8 T-cell dominant hepatitis. J Hepatol 77: 653-659. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.03.040.

Aichele P, Neumann-Haefelin C, Ehl S, Thimme R, Cathomen T, Boerries M, Hofmann M. 2022. Immunopathology caused by impaired CD8+ T-cell responses. Eur J Immunol. Jan 31. doi: 10.1002/eji.202149528. Online ahead of print.

Wild, K., M. Smits, S. Killmer, S. Strohmeier, C. Neumann-Haefelin, B. Bengsch, F. Krammer, M. Schwemmle, M. Hofmann, R. Thimme, K. Zoldan, and T. Boettler. 2021. Pre-existing immunity and vaccine history determine hemagglutinin-specific CD4 T cell and IgG response following seasonal influenza vaccination. Nat Commun 12: 6720.

Salimi Alizei E, Hofmann M, Thimme R, Neumann-Haefelin C. 2021. Mutational escape from cellular immunity in viral hepatitis: variations on a theme. Curr Opin Virol. 50:110-118. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2021.08.002.

Oberhardt V, Luxenburger H, Kemming J, Schulien I, Ciminski K, Giese S, Csernalabics B, Lang-Meli J, Janowska I, Staniek J, Wild K, Basho K, Marinescu MS, Fuchs J, Topfstedt F, Janda A, Sogukpinar O, Hilger H, Stete K, Emmerich F, Bengsch B, Waller CF, Rieg S, Sagar, Boettler T, Zoldan K, Kochs G, Schwemmle M, Rizzi M, Thimme R, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M. 2021. Rapid and stable mobilization of CD8+ T cells by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. Nature.  28. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03841-4.

Schwabenland M, Salié H, Tanevski J, Killmer S, Lago MS, Schlaak AE, Mayer L, Matschke J, Püschel K, Fitzek A, Ondruschka B, Mei HE, Boettler T, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M, Breithaupt A, Genc N, Stadelmann C, Saez-Rodriguez J, Bronsert P, Knobeloch KP, Blank T, Thimme R, Glatzel M, Prinz M, Bengsch B. 2021. Deep spatial profiling of human COVID-19 brains reveals neuroinflammation with distinct microanatomical microglia-T-cell interactions. Immunity. 54(7):1594-1610.e11.

Globig, A. M., M. Heeg, C. S. Larsen, R. D. Ferreira, G. Kindle, S. Goldacker, V. Strohmeier, S. L. Silva, C. Cunningham-Rundles, I. Quinti, R. Thimme, D. Bettinger, M. Schultheiss, and K. Warnatz. 2021. International multicenter experience of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt implantation in patients with common variable immunodeficiency. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 13:S2213-2198(21)00301-9.

Schulien I, Kemming J, Oberhardt V, Wild K, Seidel LM, Killmer S, Sagar, Daul F, Salvat Lago M, Decker A, Luxenburger H, Binder B, Bettinger D, Sogukpinar O, Rieg S, Panning M, Huzly D, Schwemmle M, Kochs G, Waller CF, Nieters A, Duerschmied D, Emmerich F, Mei HE, Schulz AR, Llewellyn-Lacey S, Price DA, Boettler T, Bengsch B, Thimme R, Hofmann M, Neumann-Haefelin C. 2020. Characterization of pre-existing and induced SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8 + T cells. Nat Med. 12. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01143-2.

Hensel N, Gu Z, Sagar, Wieland D, Jechow K, Kemming J, Llewellyn-Lacey S, Gostick E, Sogukpinar O, Emmerich F, Price DA, Bengsch B, Boettler T, Neumann-Haefelin C, Eils R, Conrad C, Bartenschlager R, Grün D, Ishaque N, Thimme R, Hofmann M. 2021. Memory-like HCV-specific CD8+ T cells retain a molecular scar after cure of chronic HCV infection. Nat Immunol. 22(2):229-239. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-00817-w.

Heim, K., B. Binder, Sagar, D. Wieland, N. Hensel, S. Llewellyn-Lacey, E. Gostick, D. A. Price, F. Emmerich, H. Vingerhoet, A. R. M. Kraft, M. Cornberg, T. Boettler, C. Neumann-Haefelin, D. Zehn, B. Bengsch, M. Hofmann, and R. Thimme. 2020. TOX defines the degree of CD8+ T cell dysfunction in distinct phases of chronic HBV infection. Gut. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322404. Online ahead of print.

Basho K, Zoldan K, Schultheiss M, Bettinger D, Globig AM, Bengsch B, Neumann-Haefelin C, Klocperk A, Warnatz K, Hofmann M, Thimme R, Boettler T. 2020. IL-2 contributes to cirrhosis-associated immune dysfunction by impairing follicular T helper cells in advanced cirrhosis. J Hepatol. S0168-8278(20)33692-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.10.012.

Kemming J, Thimme R, Neumann-Haefelin C. 2020. Adaptive Immune Response against Hepatitis C Virus. Int J Mol Sci. 21(16):E5644. doi: 10.3390/ijms21165644.

Hofmann M, Thimme R. 2020. Hepatitis B vaccine and NK cells: a new player in memory. Gut. 15:gutjnl-2020-321151. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321151. Online ahead of print.

Binder, B., and R. Thimme. 2020. CD4+ T cell responses in human viral infection: lessons from hepatitis C. J Clin Invest. pii: 133222. doi: 10.1172/JCI133222. [Epub ahead of print]

Heim, K., Neumann-Haefelin, R. Thimme, and M. Hofmann. 2019. Heterogeneity of HBV-Specific CD8(+) T-Cell Failure: Implications for Immunotherapy. Front Immunol 10: 2240.

Alfei, F., K. Kanev, M. Hofmann, M. Wu, H. E. Ghoneim, P. Roelli, D. T. Utzschneider, M. von Hoesslin, J. G. Cullen, Y. Fan, V. Eisenberg, D. Wohlleber, K. Steiger, D. Merkler, M. Delorenzi, P. A. Knolle, C. J. Cohen, R. Thimme, B. Youngblood, and D. Zehn. 2019. TOX reinforces the phenotype and longevity of exhausted T cells in chronic viral infection. Nature 571: 265-269. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1326-9.

Kemming, J., E. Reeves, K. Nitschke, V. Widmeier, F. Emmerich, T. Hermle, E. Gostick, A. Walker, J. Timm, D. A. Price, M. Hofmann, R. Thimme, E. James, and C. Neumann-Haefelin. 2019. ERAP1 allotypes shape the epitope repertoire of virus-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in acute hepatitis C virus infection. J Hepatol. 70(6):1072-1081.

Schuch A, Salimi Alizei E, Heim K, Wieland D, Kiraithe MM, Kemming J, Llewellyn-Lacey S, Sogukpinar Ö, Ni Y, Urban S, Zimmermann P, Nassal M, Emmerich F, Price DA, Bengsch B, Luxenburger H, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M, Thimme R. 2019. Phenotypic and functional differences of HBV corespecific versus HBV polymerase-specific CD8+ T cells in chronically HBV-infected patients with low viral load. Gut. 68(5):905-915.

Schuch A, Zecher BF, Müller PA, Correia MP, Daul F, Rennert C, Tauber C, Schlitt K, Boettler T, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hengel H, Pircher H, Cerwenka A, Thimme R, Hofmann M. 2019. NK-cell responses are biased towards CD16-mediated effector functions in chronic hepatitis B virus infection. J Hepatol. 70(3):351-360.

Neumann-Haefelin, C., and Thimme. 2018. Entering the spotlight: hepatitis B surface antigen-specific B cells. J Clin Invest 128: 4257-4259.

Adam, L., K. Zoldan, M. Hofmann, M. Schultheiss, D. Bettinger, Neumann-Haefelin, R. Thimme, and T. Boettler. 2018. Follicular T Helper Cell Signatures in Primary Biliary Cholangitis and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Hepatol Commun 2: 1051-1063.

Hofmann, M., D. Wieland, Pircher, and R. Thimme. 2018. Memory vs memory-like: The different facets of CD8(+) T-cell memory in HCV infection. Immunol Rev 283: 232-237.

Provine, N. M., B. Binder, M. E. B. FitzPatrick, A. Schuch, L. C. Garner, K. D. Williamson, B. van Wilgenburg, Thimme, P. Klenerman, and M. Hofmann. 2018. Unique and Common Features of Innate-Like Human Vdelta2(+) gammadeltaT Cells and Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells. Front Immunol 9: 756.

Mathew NR, Baumgartner F, Braun L, O’Sullivan D, Thomas S, Waterhouse M, Müller TA, Hanke K, Taromi S, Apostolova P, Illert AL, Melchinger W, Duquesne S, Schmitt-Graeff A, Osswald L, Yan KL, Weber A, Tugues S, Spath S, Pfeifer D, Follo M, Claus R, Lübbert M, Rummelt C, Bertz H, Wäsch R, Haag J, Schmidts A, Schultheiss M, Bettinger D, Thimme R, Ullrich E, Tanriver Y, Vuong GL, Arnold R, Hemmati P, Wolf D, Ditschkowski M, Jilg C, Wilhelm K, Leiber C, Gerull S, Halter J, Lengerke C, Pabst T, Schroeder T, Kobbe G, Rösler W, Doostkam S, Meckel S,Stabla K, Metzelder SK, Halbach S, Brummer T, Hu Z, Dengjel J, Hackanson B, Schmid C, Holtick U, Scheid C, Spyridonidis A, Stölzel F, Ordemann R, Müller LP, Sicre-de-Fontbrune F, Ihorst G, Kuball J, Ehlert JE, Feger D, Wagner EM, Cahn JY, Schnell J, Kuchenbauer F, Bunjes D, Chakraverty R, Richardson S, Gill S, Kröger N, Ayuk F, Vago L, Ciceri F, Müller AM, Kondo T, Teshima T, Klaeger S, Kuster B, Kim DDH, Weisdorf D, van der Velden W, Dörfel D, Bethge W, Hilgendorf I, Hochhaus A, Andrieux G, Börries M, Busch H, Magenau J, Reddy P, Labopin M, Antin JH, Henden AS, Hill GR, Kennedy GA, Bar M, Sarma A, McLornan D, Mufti G, Oran B, Rezvani K, Shah O, Negrin RS, Nagler A, Prinz M, Burchert A, Neubauer A, Beelen D, Mackensen A, von Bubnoff N, Herr W, Becher B, Socié G, Caligiuri MA, Ruggiero E, Bonini C, Häcker G, Duyster J, Finke J, Pearce E, Blazar BR, Zeiser R. Sorafenib promotes graft-versus-leukemia activity in mice and humans through IL-15 production in FLT3-ITD-mutant leukemia cells. Nat Med. 24: 282-291.

Wieland, D., J. Kemming, A. Schuch, F. Emmerich, P. Knolle, Neumann-Haefelin, W. Held, D. Zehn, M. Hofmann, and R. Thimme. 2017. TCF1(+) hepatitis C virus-specific CD8(+) T cells are maintained after cessation of chronic antigen stimulation. Nat Commun 8: 15050.