Prof. Paul Thompson

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Prof Thompson, directs the ENIGMA Center for Worldwide Medicine, Imaging & Genomics – a U.S. National Center of Excellence for “Big Data” analysis in biomedical research. Since 2009, Dr Thompson has led the ENIGMA consortium (, a worldwide medical network of 340 institutions across 35 countries studying the major diseases of the brain, with MRI, diffusion MRI, resting state fMRI, EEG and genomics. ENIGMA has published the largest neuroimaging studies of 8 major brain disorders – including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, ADHD and OCD – and leads international studies of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, PTSD, anorexia, substance use, and anxiety disorders. In ENIGMA’s series of papers in Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Nature Communications, 340 institutions pooled DNA and MRI data from over 40,000 people to identify over 100 genomic loci that influence brain structure, function and disease risk using massively-parallel distributed “big data” computing (Medland Nature Neuroscience 2015). ENIGMA analyzes factors that affect Alzheimer’s disease progression, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar illness, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, autism, and childhood brain disorders.

Dr. Thompson’s group created the first MRI maps of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia spreading in the living brain, and a method to detect brain growth in children (published in the journal Nature). Thompson directs the Imaging Genetics Center and is Associate Director of USC’s new Stevens Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics. At USC, he is a Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Pediatrics, and Engineering. Dr. Thompson obtained his M.A. in Mathematics and Greek & Latin Languages from Oxford University, England, and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA. His team of 20 researchers includes students in neuroscience, genetics, biomedical engineering, and biomedical physics. Collaborating with over 300 imaging labs around the world, Dr. Thompson’s 1,600 published research papers combine the talents of researchers in mathematics, neuroimaging, and clinical neurology (see

  • Professor of Neurology, UCLA;
  • Master of Arts (Hons.), Mathematics & Philosophy, Oxford
  • Bachelor of Arts (First Class in Honour Moderations), Greek & Latin Languages , Oxdord
  • Oxford University Scholar: Mathematics & Philosophy, Classical Languages
  • Guinness Book of Records Certificate, 1989: U.K. Record Examination Achievement (9 A-levels); Article, courtesy of The Times Newspaper, London, Aug. 2000.
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, 73-360 Brain Research Institute,
    Division of Brain Mapping, and Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA;

Ph.D. thesis title: Mathematical/Computational Strategies for Analyzing 3D Human Brain Image Databases

  • Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1993-1999;
  • Research Grantee, United States Information Agency, Washington, DC, 1993-1999;
  • Fulbright Scholar, U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, London, England, 1993-1999;
  • Research Grantee (Co-Investigator or PI): NCRR, NIMH, NLM, NINDS, NIA, NHMRC (Australia), NARSAD
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 2002-
  • Associate Editor, Human Brain Mapping, 2002-
  • Associate Editor, NeuroImage, 2002-2007
  • Editorial Board, Medical Image Analysis, 2002-
  • Editorial Board, Cerebral Cortex, 2002-
  • Elected Member, American Neurological Association, 2007-
  • 2008 Wiley Young Investigator Award (Organization for Human Brain Mapping)
  • Technical Evaluation Group & Grant Review Study Sections, National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1999-
  • Special Emphasis Panel, Center for Scientific Review, NIH
  • Peer-Reviewer, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants Program, 1999-present; Alzheimer’s Disease Association Grants Program, 1999-present;
  • Member of the Program Committee for: IEEE Workshop on Mathematical Methods in Biomedical Image Analysis, June 2000; SPIE Conference on Mathematical Methods in Biomedical Imaging, July/August 2000; Workshop on Mathematical Methods in Biomedical Image Analysis (MMBIA), Dec. 2001; IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI): Macro to Nano, July 2002; IEEE Conference on Pattern Recognition 2002, August 2002; 5th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention 2002 (MICCAI 2002)
  • Workshop Organizer for: Imaging in Medicine and the Neurosciences (May 2001, UCLA); Workshop on Deformable Models in Biomedical Imaging, MICCAI 2002 (Sept. 2002, Japan); Workshop on Mapping Brain Degeneration, Human Brain Mapping 2003 (June 2003, New York City)
  • Honors/Awards:
    1998 Di Chiro Outstanding Scientific Paper Award;
    1998 Eiduson Award for Neuroscience Research;
    1997 SPIE Medical Imaging Award, Best Paper;
    Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year, UCLA; UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award, 1998

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