University of Nebraska Medical Center

Geoffrey Thiele, PhD

Umbach Professor of Rheumatology
Professor, Division of Rheumatology

Dr. Geoffrey Thiele

Dr. Thiele received his PhD in 1985 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Medical Microbiology/Immunology. Throughout his career, his research has primarily centered on the alteration of self-proteins resulting in the development and/or progression of autoimmunity. He is actively involved in basic and translational research activities through the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, American Heart Association, and the Rheumatology Research Foundation. He has extensive experience conducting research from each of these agencies and has been involved in many multicenter projects. More recently, he has become involved in the formation of multiple databases, biobanks, and registries for use in the studies performed by the Experimental Immunology Laboratories, VA Rheumatoid Arthritis (VARA) group (in conjunction with Dr. Ted Mikuls), UNMC Cardiovascular registry (in conjunction with Dr. Dan Anderson), Rheumatoid Arthritis Interactive Network (RAIN) registry, and many others.

He serves on multiple national study sections of the NIH, VA, and AHA. Additionally, he is a member of 11 national and international organizations at which he has presented and/or organized. He is the author of more than 200 manuscripts, 300 abstracts, and 16 book chapters. Dr. Thiele holds nine patents for various studies associated with his research interests.

Finally, Dr. Thiele has been recognized for his excellence in teaching on many occasions. He has been recognized by the Education Committee in the Department of Internal Medicine for excellence in teaching every year since 1995. In addition, he has won; the Golden Apple three times from the 2nd Year Medical School class, the Hirschmann Basic Science Teaching Award twice (2010 and 2015), the College of Medicine Class of 1962 Basic Science Outstanding Teacher Award (2010), along with various other awards for teaching.


  • Post-translational modification of self-proteins to result in autoimmune diseases
  • Pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases
  • Generation and abrogation of immunological self-tolerance
  • Evaluation of immune responses and biomarkers in inflammatory diseases
Current Roles
  • Faculty, University of Nebraska Graduate College

  • Curriculum Committee, Member

  • Block Director for the Blood, Defenses and Invaders Block of the TPT Curriculum

  • Chair, Curriculum Review Sub-Committee of the UNMC Curriculum Committee

  • Faculty Senate, Member

  • Immunology, Pathology and Infectious Disease Graduate Committee

  • VA Biosafety Committee, Member

  • Co-coordinator of the Enhanced Medical Education Track (EMET) for Autoimmune Diseases

  • Coordinator, Immunology Thread of the TPT Curriculum

  • Undergraduate Education: BS, Microbiology and Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1979
  • Graduate Education: PhD, Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1985 
  • Post-Doc: Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1987