Professor Ranjeny Thomas

Arthritis Qld Chair of Rheumatology

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 344 36960


Professor Thomas’ research is focused on the study of the biology and clinical use of human dendritic cells in autoimmune disease. It has explored basic mechanisms of immunity and dendritic cell function in autoimmune disease.

Professor Thomas is a graduate of the University of Western Australia. She received her MBBS in 1984, and then trained in Perth as a rheumatologist. She commenced a research fellowship with Peter Lipsky at Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas in 1990, where she first identified and characterised human circulating dendritic cell precursors. She is now Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, consultant Rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital and fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Her research is focussed on the study of autoimmune disease and restoration of tolerance. Through this work, she developed and tested the first rheumatoid arthritis vaccine. She has also contributed major insights into the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathy and autoimmune diabetes, leading to the development of disease biomarkers and innovative immunotherapies. Ranjeny is founder and a director of the spin-off company, Dendright, which is developing antigen-specific (personalised) immunotherapy and companion biomarkers to prevent and treat rheumatoid arthritis. She is funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to develop antigen-specific immunotherapy for children with type 1 diabetes.


  • MD, The University of Western Australia
  • MBBS, The University of Western Australia


View all Publications


  • Master Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Thomas, Ranjeny and Cope, Andrew P. (2013). Pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. In Richard A. Watts, Philip G. Conaghan, Christopher Denton, Helen Foster, John Isaacs and Ulf Müller-Ladner (Ed.), Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology 4th ed. (pp. 839-848) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/med/9780199642489.001.0001

  • Pai, Saparna and Thomas, Ranjeny (2009). Dendritic Cells. In Rheumatoid Arthritis (pp. 116-123) : Elsevier Inc.. doi:10.1016/B978-032305475-1.50021-5

  • Lutzky, Viviana and Thomas, Ranjeny (2007). Dendritic cells. In Josef F. Smolen and Peter E. Lipsky (Ed.), Contemporary Targeted therapies in Rheumatology (pp. 63-78) UK: Informa Healthcare.

  • Pettit, Allison R., Cavanagh, Lois, Boyce, Amanda, Padmanabha, Jagadish, Peng, Judy and Thomas, Ranjeny. (2007). Identification and isolation of synovial dendritic cells. In Andrew P. Cope (Ed.), Arthritis Research Methods and Protocols (pp. 165-181) Totowa, N.J., U.S.A.: Humana Press Inc.

  • Thomas, Ranjeny, Thompson, Angus G., Martin, Ela and O'Sullivan, Brendan. J. (2003). Dendritic Cells. In Josef S. Smolen and Peter E. Lipsky (Ed.), Targeted Therapies in Rheumatology First ed. (pp. 61-81) London, UK: Martin Duntiz.

  • Thomas, R. (2001). Dendritic Cells and Autoimmunity. In M.T. Lotze and A.W. Thomason (Ed.), Dendritic Cells 2nd ed. (pp. 459-471) United Kingdom: Academic Press.

  • Pettit, A. R., Cavanagh, L. L. and Thomas, R. (2001). Identification and isolation of synovial dendritic cells. In S. P. Robinson and A. J. Stagg (Ed.), Dendritic Cell Protocols (pp. 175-187) Totowa USA: Humana Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision