Sharon L. Thompson-Schill
Sharon is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, and in addition to her role as the Founding Director of MindCORE, she is currently serving as Chair of the Department of Psychology. Since her arrival at the University of Pennsylvania since 1996, Thompson-Schill has served numerous roles to support the research and teaching missions of the university, including the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology and the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Davidson College in 1991 and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 1996. Thompson-Schill’s lab studies the biological bases of human cognitive systems. She uses a combination of psychological and neuroscientific methods, in both healthy and brain-damaged individuals, to study the psychological, neurological, and genetic bases of complex thought and behavior, including topics in perception, memory, attention, language, personality and creativity. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and has been recognized by numerous awards including the Searle Scholars Award, the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellowship. She regularly discusses her research findings not only to international scientific audiences but also to lay audiences in live and podcast formats, including the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the Philadelphia Science Festival, WHYY’s The Pulse, and The Story Collider. Thompson-Schill is also an enthusiastic teacher of psychology and neuroscience. She founded the Psychology department’s Honors Program ten years ago, and more recently she has been active in the creation and implementation of the College’s Integrated Studies Program for undergraduates as well as several new pre- and postdoctoral career development and mentoring programs, such as the Council for Women of Penn Psychology. Thompson-Schill has won numerous local and national teaching awards, including the Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award, the Trustees Council of Penn Women Advising Award and Penn’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has three children (23, 21, and 18) and lives in Center City, Philadelphia.