Keck School Faculty

Paul M. Thompson, PhD
Paul M. Thompson, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Radiology, Psychiatry, and Engineering;Associate Director, USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute
USC Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics
ISI, 4676 Admiralty Way, Ste. 200 Health Sciences Campus Marina Del Rey
Paul Thompson is a Professor in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. His team's research projects focus on the neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, software engineering and clinical aspects of neuroimaging and brain mapping.

Paul Thompson directs the ENIGMA Consortium, a global alliance of 307 scientists in 33 countries who conduct the largest studies of 10 major brain diseases – ranging from schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, bipolar illness and OCD, to HIV and addictions on the brain. ENIGMA’s genomic screens of over 31,000 people’s brain scans and genome-wide data (published in Nature Genetics, 2012; Nature, 2015) have brought together experts from 185 institutions to unearth genetic variants that affect brain structure, disease risk, and brain connectivity. At USC, Dr. Thompson is a Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Pediatrics, Engineering, and Ophthalmology, and Director of the ENIGMA Center for Worldwide Medicine, Imaging & Genomics - a $11M NIH Center of Excellence in Big Data Computing. Using worldwide medication screens, ENIGMA discovers factors that affect progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, schizophrenia, depression and childhood brain
disorders. One study unites teams from the Thai Red Cross, the US, and South Africa, and uses methods developed by Dr Thompson’s team (Nature, 2000) to study how treatments restore brain growth in HIV+ children. Dr. Thompson also directs the USC Imaging Genetics Center– a group of 40 scientists in Marina del Rey. His team created the first maps of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia spreading in the living brain, and a method to track brain growth in children. Dr. Thompson has an M.A. in mathematics and Greek and Latin Languages from Oxford University, and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA.

Collaborating with imaging labs around the world, Dr. Thompson and his students have published over 1,300 publications (h-index: 116) describing novel mathematical and computational strategies for analyzing brain image databases, for detecting pathology in individual patients and groups, and for creating disease-specific atlases of the human brain.

Recent work has discovered new structural and functional brain changes during brain development and degeneration, Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias, schizophrenia and bipolar illness, HIV/AIDS, methamphetamine abuse, and autism. For many of these illnesses, Dr. Thompson's Center is creating population-based tools to understand factors that resist them. New computational tools, developed in the lab, are used to map how these diseases spread in the living brain, and in drug trials and basic research studies.

: Kent Innovations in Academia Award, 2015

: Di Chiro Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, 1998

: Eiduson Award for Neuroscience Research, 1998

: Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year, UCLA, UCLA Chancellor's Service Award, 1998

: SPIE Medical Imaging Award, Best Paper, 1997

A Fast Method for Estimating Statistical Power of Multivariate GWAS in Real Case Scenarios: Examples from the Field of Imaging Genetics Behav Genet. 2018 Nov 15. . View in PubMed

A resting state fMRI analysis pipeline for pooling inference across diverse cohorts: an ENIGMA rs-fMRI protocol Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Sep 06. . View in PubMed

Brain cortical structural differences between non-central nervous system cancer patients treated with and without chemotherapy compared to non-cancer controls: a cross-sectional pilot MRI study using clinically-indicated scans Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2017 Oct; 10572. . View in PubMed

Association of White Matter With Core Cognitive Deficits in Patients With Schizophrenia JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 01; 74(9):958-966. . View in PubMed

3D tract-specific local and global analysis of white matter integrity in Alzheimer's disease Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Mar; 38(3):1191-1207. . View in PubMed

Association and Causation in Brain Imaging in the Case of OCD: Response to McKay et al Am J Psychiatry. 2017 06 01; 174(6):597-599. . View in PubMed



A NETWORK APPROACH TO EXAMINING INJURY SEVERITY IN PEDIATRIC TBI Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging. 2017; 2017:105-108. . View in PubMed

ApoE e4 Is Associated With Cognition, Brain Integrity, and Atrophy in HIV Over Age 60 J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Dec 01; 73(4):426-432. . View in PubMed

A Continuous Model of Cortical Connectivity Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2016 Oct; 9900:157-165. . View in PubMed

Age, APOE and sex: Triad of risk of Alzheimer's disease J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 Jun; 160:134-47. . View in PubMed

An advanced white matter tract analysis in frontotemporal dementia and early-onset Alzheimer's disease Brain Imaging Behav. 2016 12; 10(4):1038-1053. . View in PubMed

Brain Imaging and Neurodevelopment in HIV-uninfected Thai Children Born to HIV-infected Mothers Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Sep; 34(9):e211-6. . View in PubMed

Accelerated vsunaccelerated serial MRI based TBM-SyN measurements for clinical trials in Alzheimer's disease. Neuroimage. 2015 Jun; 113:61-9. . View in PubMed

Altered regional brain volumes in elderly carriers of a risk variant for drug abuse in the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) Brain Imaging Behav. 2015 Jun; 9(2):213-22. . View in PubMed

Abnormal hippocampal morphology in dissociative identity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder correlates with childhood trauma and dissociative symptoms Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 May; 36(5):1692-704. . View in PubMed


7T Multi-shell Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI) for Mapping Brain Connectivity in Mice Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2015 Mar 20; 9413. . View in PubMed

Brain amyloidosis ascertainment from cognitive, imaging, and peripheral blood protein measures Neurology. 2015 Feb 17; 84(7):729-37. . View in PubMed

Brain connectivity and novel network measures for Alzheimer's disease classification Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Jan; 36 Suppl 1:S121-31. . View in PubMed

Boosting brain connectome classification accuracy in Alzheimer's disease using higher-order singular value decomposition Front Neurosci. 2015; 9:257. . View in PubMed

Bi-level multi-source learning for heterogeneous block-wise missing data Neuroimage. 2014 Nov 15; 102 Pt 1:192-206. . View in PubMed

Automatic clustering of white matter fibers in brain diffusion MRI with an application to genetics Neuroimage. 2014 Oct 15; 100:75-90. . View in PubMed

Automatic clustering and population analysis of white matter tracts using maximum density paths Neuroimage. 2014 Aug 15; 97:284-95. . View in PubMed

Age effects on cortical thickness in cognitively normal elderly individuals Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2014 May; 4(2):221-7. . View in PubMed

A focus on structural brain imaging in the Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 01; 75(7):527-33. . View in PubMed

A commonly carried genetic variant in the delta opioid receptor gene, OPRD1, is associated with smaller regional brain volumes: replication in elderly and young populations Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Apr; 35(4):1226-36. . View in PubMed

Analysis of sampling techniques for imbalanced data: An n = 648 ADNI study Neuroimage. 2014 Feb 15; 87:220-41. . View in PubMed

ApoE4 effects on automated diagnostic classifiers for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease Neuroimage Clin. 2014; 4:461-72. . View in PubMed

Brain putamen volume changes in newly-diagnosed patients with obstructive sleep apnea Neuroimage Clin. 2014; 4:383-91. . View in PubMed

Algebraic connectivity of brain networks shows patterns of segregation leading to reduced network robustness in Alzheimer's disease Comput Diffus MRI (2014). 2014; 2014:55-64. . View in PubMed

Altered white matter microstructure is associated with social cognition and psychotic symptoms in 22q112 microdeletion syndrome. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014; 8:393. . View in PubMed

Angular versus spatial resolution trade-offs for diffusion imaging under time constraints Hum Brain Mapp. 2013 Oct; 34(10):2688-706. . View in PubMed

Applying tensor-based morphometry to parametric surfaces can improve MRI-based disease diagnosis Neuroimage. 2013 Jul 01; 74:209-30. . View in PubMed

Brain growth rate abnormalities visualized in adolescents with autism Hum Brain Mapp. 2013 Feb; 34(2):425-36. . View in PubMed

A Dynamical Clustering Model of Brain Connectivity Inspired by the N -Body Problem Multimodal Brain Image Anal (2013). 2013; 8159:129-137. . View in PubMed

A single nucleotide polymorphism associated with reduced alcohol intake in the RASGRF2 gene predicts larger cortical volumes but faster longitudinal ventricular expansion in the elderly Front Aging Neurosci. 2013; 5:93. . View in PubMed

Alzheimer's Disease Disrupts Rich Club Organization in Brain Connectivity Networks Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging. 2013; 266-269. . View in PubMed

ADHD comorbidity can matter when assessing cortical thickness abnormalities in patients with bipolar disorder Bipolar Disord. 2012 Dec; 14(8):843-55. . View in PubMed

Autism-associated promoter variant in MET impacts functional and structural brain networks Neuron. 2012 Sep 06; 75(5):904-15. . View in PubMed

Alzheimer's disease risk gene, GAB2, is associated with regional brain volume differences in 755 young healthy twins Twin Res Hum Genet. 2012 Jun; 15(3):286-95. . View in PubMed

Automatic Population HARDI White Matter Tract Clustering by Label Fusion of Multiple Tract Atlases Multimodal Brain Image Anal (2012). 2012 Jan 01; 7509:147-156. . View in PubMed

A Hough transform global probabilistic approach to multiple-subject diffusion MRI tractography Med Image Anal. 2011 Aug; 15(4):414-25. . View in PubMed

Accurate measurement of brain changes in longitudinal MRI scans using tensor-based morphometry Neuroimage. 2011 Jul 01; 57(1):5-14. . View in PubMed


BDNF gene effects on brain circuitry replicated in 455 twins Neuroimage. 2011 Mar 15; 55(2):448-54. . View in PubMed

A nonconservative Lagrangian framework for statistical fluid registration-SAFIRA IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2011 Feb; 30(2):184-202. . View in PubMed

Altered structural brain connectivity in healthy carriers of the autism risk gene, CNTNAP2 Brain Connect. 2011; 1(6):447-59. . View in PubMed

Anxiety modulates insula recruitment in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in youth and adults Brain Connect. 2011; 1(3):245-54. . View in PubMed

Amygdala reactivity in healthy adults is correlated with prefrontal cortical thickness J Neurosci. 2010 Dec 08; 30(49):16673-8. . View in PubMed

Assessing the reliability to detect cerebral hypometabolism in probable Alzheimer's disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment J Neurosci Methods. 2010 Oct 15; 192(2):277-85. . View in PubMed

Boosting power for clinical trials using classifiers based on multiple biomarkers Neurobiol Aging. 2010 Aug; 31(8):1429-42. . View in PubMed

3D PIB and CSF biomarker associations with hippocampal atrophy in ADNI subjects Neurobiol Aging. 2010 Aug; 31(8):1284-303. . View in PubMed

3D mapping of brain differences in native signing congenitally and prelingually deaf subjects Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Jul; 31(7):970-8. . View in PubMed

Automated 3D mapping of baseline and 12-month associations between three verbal memory measures and hippocampal atrophy in 490 ADNI subjects Neuroimage. 2010 May 15; 51(1):488-99. . View in PubMed

A commonly carried allele of the obesity-related FTO gene is associated with reduced brain volume in the healthy elderly Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 04; 107(18):8404-9. . View in PubMed

3D comparison of low, intermediate, and advanced hippocampal atrophy in MCI Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 May; 31(5):786-97. . View in PubMed

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative biomarkers as quantitative phenotypes: Genetics core aims, progress, and plans Alzheimers Dement. 2010 May; 6(3):265-73. . View in PubMed

Brain structure and obesity Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Mar; 31(3):353-64. . View in PubMed

Altered hippocampal morphology in unmedicated patients with major depressive illness ASN Neuro. 2009 Nov 10; 1(4). . View in PubMed

Automated 3D mapping of hippocampal atrophy and its clinical correlates in 400 subjects with Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and elderly controls Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Sep; 30(9):2766-88. . View in PubMed

Active fibers: matching deformable tract templates to diffusion tensor images Neuroimage. 2009 Aug; 47 Suppl 2:T82-9. . View in PubMed

A LAGRANGIAN FORMULATION FOR STATISTICAL FLUID REGISTRATION Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging. 2009 Jun-Jul; 2009:975-978. . View in PubMed

Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative: a one-year follow up study using tensor-based morphometry correlating degenerative rates, biomarkers and cognition Neuroimage. 2009 Apr 15; 45(3):645-55. . View in PubMed

Automated mapping of hippocampal atrophy in 1-year repeat MRI data from 490 subjects with Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and elderly controls Neuroimage. 2009 Mar; 45(1 Suppl):S3-15. . View in PubMed

Alterations in midline cortical thickness and gyrification patterns mapped in children with 22q112 deletions. Cereb Cortex. 2009 Jan; 19(1):115-26. . View in PubMed

A novel measure of fractional anisotropy based on the tensor distribution function Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2009; 12(Pt 1):845-52. . View in PubMed

3D characterization of brain atrophy in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment using tensor-based morphometry Neuroimage. 2008 May 15; 41(1):19-34. . View in PubMed


Age effects on hippocampal structural changes in old men: the HAAS Neuroimage. 2008 Apr 15; 40(3):1003-15. . View in PubMed

Automated ventricular mapping with multi-atlas fluid image alignment reveals genetic effects in Alzheimer's disease Neuroimage. 2008 Apr 01; 40(2):615-630. . View in PubMed

A tensor-based morphometry study of genetic influences on brain structure using a new fluid registration method Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2008; 11(Pt 2):914-21. . View in PubMed

Brain fiber architecture, genetics, and intelligence: a high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) study Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2008; 11(Pt 1):1060-7. . View in PubMed

Automatic subcortical segmentation using a contextual model Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2008; 11(Pt 1):194-201. . View in PubMed

3D mapping of language networks in clinical and pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease Brain Lang. 2008 Jan; 104(1):33-41. . View in PubMed

Abnormal cortical thickness and brain-behavior correlation patterns in individuals with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure Cereb Cortex. 2008 Jan; 18(1):136-44. . View in PubMed

Asymmetries of cortical thickness: effects of handedness, sex, and schizophrenia Neuroreport. 2007 Sep 17; 18(14):1427-31. . View in PubMed

3D pattern of brain abnormalities in Williams syndrome visualized using tensor-based morphometry Neuroimage. 2007 Jul 15; 36(4):1096-109. . View in PubMed

Brain mapping as a tool to study neurodegeneration Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Jul; 4(3):387-400. . View in PubMed

Automated extraction of the cortical sulci based on a supervised learning approach IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2007 Apr; 26(4):541-52. . View in PubMed

3D pattern of brain abnormalities in Fragile X syndrome visualized using tensor-based morphometry Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 01; 34(3):924-38. . View in PubMed

Asymmetries of cortical shape: Effects of handedness, sex and schizophrenia Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 01; 34(3):939-48. . View in PubMed

3D pattern of brain atrophy in HIV/AIDS visualized using tensor-based morphometry Neuroimage. 2007 Jan 01; 34(1):44-60. . View in PubMed

Brain Differences Visualized in the Blind using Tensor Manifold Statistics and Diffusion Tensor Imaging Proc Front Converg Biosci Inf Technol (2007). 2007 Oct; 2007:470-476. . View in PubMed

3D comparison of hippocampal atrophy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease Brain. 2006 Nov; 129(Pt 11):2867-73. . View in PubMed

3D mapping of mini-mental state examination performance in clinical and preclinical Alzheimer disease Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2006 Oct-Dec; 20(4):224-31. . View in PubMed

Adaptive reproducing kernel particle method for extraction of the cortical surface IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2006 Jun; 25(6):755-67. . View in PubMed

3D mapping of ventricular and corpus callosum abnormalities in HIV/AIDS Neuroimage. 2006 May 15; 31(1):12-23. . View in PubMed

A learning based algorithm for automatic extraction of the cortical sulci Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2006; 9(Pt 1):695-703. . View in PubMed

Association of DISC1/TRAX haplotypes with schizophrenia, reduced prefrontal gray matter, and impaired short- and long-term memory Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Nov; 62(11):1205-13. . View in PubMed

Automated brain tissue assessment in the elderly and demented population: construction and validation of a sub-volume probabilistic brain atlas Neuroimage. 2005 Jul 15; 26(4):1009-18. . View in PubMed

Abnormal cortical complexity and thickness profiles mapped in Williams syndrome J Neurosci. 2005 Apr 20; 25(16):4146-58. . View in PubMed

Brain atlases of normal and diseased populations Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005; 66:1-54. . View in PubMed

A framework for registration, statistical characterization and classification of cortically constrained functional imaging data Inf Process Med Imaging. 2005; 19:186-96. . View in PubMed

Abnormal gyral complexity in first-episode schizophrenia Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Apr 15; 55(8):859-67. . View in PubMed

An adaptive level set segmentation on a triangulated mesh IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2004 Feb; 23(2):191-201. . View in PubMed

Asymmetry of the brain surface from deformation field analysis Hum Brain Mapp. 2003 Jun; 19(2):79-89. . View in PubMed

A twin study of genetic contributions to hippocampal morphology in schizophrenia Neurobiol Dis. 2002 Oct; 11(1):83-95. . View in PubMed

Adaptive elastic segmentation of brain MRI via shape-model-guided evolutionary programming IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2002 Aug; 21(8):910-23. . View in PubMed

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