Thomas Thesen has worked as an animator and visual development artist at Pixar, Dreamworks Animation and Sprite Animation Studios; additionally he has taught at several universities across Asia and North America.
His research interests lie within intracranial neurophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. He studies perception and cognition among those with brain implants.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Thesen has over two decades of experience working in art and animation. As computer animator and visual development artist for Pixar, Dreamworks, Sprite Animation Studios and many other companies. Additionally, Thomas provides illustration services for print publications as well as teaching at universities in America, Asia and Britain.
Thesen serves as co-director of STEM RISE program at University of Houston College of Medicine and is widely known for his top-rated Nervous System course taught here. His research centers around cognitive neuroscience, specifically educational technology, outreach and pipeline programs, equity/antiracism in biomedical science as well as thesen’s primary areas of research: Temporal Lobe, Cortical Surface and Speech Recognition as well as its intersections with Rhythm, Explicit Memory Functional Brain Imaging and Epilepsy.
Thomas Thesen has amassed an extensive portfolio of experience in art and animation. He worked as a computer-animator at Pixar, DreamWorks and Sprite Animation Studios before going on to teach for various universities in Asia and North America.
He holds appointments as Assistant Professor in both Neurology and Radiology departments of New York University School of Medicine, serving on their Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and as Director of Intracranial Neurophysiology Research with NYU ECoG; an initiative which investigates cognition in people with brain implants.
His current research is focused on translating state-of-the-art imaging techniques into clinical settings, using them as an experimental platform to explore fundamental neuroscience questions. Yoshiyuki Nishio, M.D/Ph.D; Valerie Nunez, Ph.D; Thomas Thesen D Phil Callah Boomhaur Kristen Berry are among his lab members.
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Thesen is an esteemed researcher in cognitive neuroscience and epilepsy, having founded and led the highly-rated Nervous System course at University of Houston College of Medicine. Additionally, his lab utilizes state-of-the-art brain imaging technologies to understand cognitive processing in human patients using intracranial neurophysiology implants.
His research is heavily focused on the Temporal Lobe, with an emphasis on Rhythm, Explicit Memory and Electroencephalography as focal areas. In addition, he has conducted work related to Cortical Surface Decoding.
He is also one of the founding faculty members of STEM RISE outreach program and was honored with a 2022 Stand Up for STEM Educational Organization award for their work with Jack Yates High School in Third Ward.
Thomas Thesen has studied art, animation and image-making for over two decades. During that time he has held positions as character animator/visual development artist at Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Sprite Animation Studios as well as teaching at universities both in Asia and North America.
His research interests focus on brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience, with particular attention given to epilepsy. He directs NYU ECoG – an initiative for studying cognition among patients who have intracranial electrocorticography implants – and also instructs medical students at University of Houston College of Medicine.
He currently researches Temporal Lobe, Neuropsychology, Cortical Surface and Epilepsy with studies including Lesion Pathology Resting state fMRI as well as Ictal, Premovement Neuronal Activity Magnetoencephalography.