Prof. Dr. Robert Thimme is the Clinical Director of the Department of Medicine II (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Endocrinology and Infectious Diseases) with a special focus on gastroenterology and hepatology, specifically gastrointestinal tumors, viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. His research focus lies on the immune responses in hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as well as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), specifically the immunological determinants of viral clearance and persistence. His work as a PI is supported by grants from the DFG, BMBF, several foundations and the EU. With this support his group has provided important novel insights into the mechanisms of T cell success and failure in viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. For example, by identifying immunodominant epitopes, he has shown that HLA-B27 is protective in the case of HCV but that viral escape is a major driver of T cell failure in chronic HCV infection, by developing novel cell culture models to gain important insights into the effector functions of virus specific CD8+ T cells in hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection and by showing that elimination of antigen leads to a partial restoration of the function and immunity in chronic HCV infection. He has published more than a hundred papers on the tissue of immunobiology of HBV, HCV and HCC and is in the editorial boards of several journals, such as Gastroenterology, GUT, Journal of Hepatology, Journal of Virology or Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Robert Thimme, MD