Nikki Thiele

Nikki A Thiele

Staff Scientist

Dr. Nikki Thiele is a staff scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL. Dr. Thiele earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) at the University of Florida under the guidance of Prof. Kenneth B. Sloan, where her research focused on developing small molecule prodrugs. From there, she joined the bioinorganic research group of Prof. Justin J. Wilson at Cornell University, where she worked as a postdoctoral associate to develop macrocycles for applications in targeted radionuclide therapy, industrial descaling, and chemical separations. In 2020, she accepted a research staff position in the Chemical Separations Group as a strategic hire. Her current research projects are focused on advancing the coordination chemistry of rare radioactive ions, designing new chelation platforms for emerging alpha- and Auger-emitting radioisotopes in targeted cancer therapy; targeted leaching of rare earth elements using molecular recognition; and developing new anion receptors for clean energy separations. Her research employs synthetic organic chemistry, coordination chemistry, analytical methodology, and radiochemistry. Nikki also serves as manager for CSG's suite of radiological labs. Since starting her independent career in 2020, Nikki has received funding from the Critical Materials Institute, DOE Isotope Program, and the Laboratory Directed Research & Development program at ORNL.