Thomas's research focuses on Kaposi Sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), the cause of Kaposi Sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and the plasma cell variant of Multicentric Castleman’s Disease. His contributions to this field include studies on the distribution, transmission and tumour association of this virus. His group identified the viral gene encoding the latent nuclear antigen, LANA, (Rainbow et al., 1997) and characterized the organisation of the K15 gene and the function of K15-encoded proteins (Glenn et al., 1999). In the last 15 years he has been characterising different aspects of these viral proteins, such as the signal transduction pathways initiated and cellular genes activated by K15 and its role in KSHV-induced angiogenesis and reactivation from latency (Brinkmann et al., 2003; Bala et al., 2012; Gramolelli et al., 2015; Abere et al., in revision). His group also showed for the first time that a member of the BET protein family of human chromatin proteins interacts with a viral protein (i.e. LANA; Platt et al., 1999; Ottinger et al., 2005). Together with T. Lührs, HZI, they have recently solved the molecular structure of the c-terminal, DNA-binding, domain of LANA alone and in complex with the latent viral replication origin (Hellert, Weidner-Glunde et al., 2013; 2015). They also have recently shown that the function of LANA extends beyond its classical role in latent replication and transcriptional regulation and that it also modulates innate immune response pathways triggered by viral DNA (Zhang et al.,2016; Mariggio et al., 2017). Other research projects deal with the role of p73 in the survival of KSHV-infected cells (Santag et al., 2012) and the identification of new inhibitors to target KSHV persistence and replication.