Nikki A Thiele
R&D Associate Staff Scientist
Nikki 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 prodrugs of iron chelators and other small molecules to improve their pharmacokinetic profiles. 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 expanded macrocyclic chelators for applications in targeted radionuclide therapy, industrial descaling, and separations of rare earth elements. In 2020, she accepted a research staff position in the Chemical Separations Group at ORNL as a strategic hire. Her current research efforts focus on establishing the coordination chemistry of underexplored radioactive ions relevant to nuclear medicine, such as 223Ra2+ and 225Ac3+; designing new chelation platforms to expand the implementation of alpha-, beta-, and Auger-emitting radioisotopes in targeted radionuclide therapy; the use of molecular recognition for dissolution and separation of rare earth minerals; and developing new iminoguanidinium-based anion receptors. Her research is highly interdisciplinary in nature, leveraging aspects of 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 for projects from the Critical Materials Institute, DOE Isotope Program, and the Laboratory Directed Research & Development program at ORNL.