Serena Thompson, MD, PhD

Serena Thompson


Adult epileptologist

Dr. Thompson graduated from the University of Southern California prior to attending medical school and graduate school in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. She completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin followed by epilepsy fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Prior to returning to Minnesota, Dr. Thompson was a full-time academic faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Thompson’s areas of expertise include epilepsy surgery, magnetoencephalography use in epilepsy evaluation, complex / refractory epilepsy, ketogenic diet, EEG, SEEG, electrocorticography, and cortical stimulation. Outside of medicine, Dr. Thompson enjoys Latin dance, fitness, and spending time with family.

Dr. Thompson uses the mutual education patient and physician provide each other as the groundwork for treatment. “It is my responsibility to educate patients and their families about their medical condition and treatment options, but it is the patient’s responsibility to educate me about their treatment goals, expectations, prior experiences, and life goals. It is my greatest honor and responsibility to listen to your story and empower you to make informed medical decisions.”


Undergraduate School

University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA

Medical School

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN

Graduate Schools

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN


Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI


Epilepsy Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH

Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Active Interest – Epilepsy surgery, magnetoencephalography, complex and refractory epilepsies, EEG, SEEG, electrocorticography, cortical stimulation, ketogenic diet

Selected Publications

Thompson, S. K., Engel, S. A., & Olman, C. A. (2014). Larger neural responses produce BOLD signals that begin earlier in time. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8, 159.

Hegdé, J., Thompson, S. K., Brady, M., & Kersten, D. (2012). Object recognition in clutter: cortical responses depend on the type of learning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 170.

Schumacher, J. F., Thompson, S. K., & Olman, C. (2011). Contrast response functions for single Gabor patches: ROI-based analysis over-represents low-contrast patches for GE BOLD. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 5, 19.

Interests Outside Medicine

Latin dance, time with family

Leadership & Membership 

Professional Organizations

American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society

Medical Licenses

Minnesota, Wisconsin

Clinic Nurse

Brad B.

Selected Awards

2017-2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, Cleveland Clinic

2016-2017 Excellence in Teaching Award, Cleveland Clinic

2015-2016 Harrington Humanitarian Award, Medical College of Wisconsin