A picture of Trevor in his habitat.

Trevor Thai Kim Nguyen

MD-PhD student in training

I am an MD-PhD student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where I studied computer science and neuroscience. I'm passionate about understanding neurological diseases on a fundamental level and hope to do impactful work at the intersection of neuroscience, computer science, and mathematics.

For anyone wishing to contact me about anything, please email me. I'm not yet at that point in my career where I'm too busy to respond.

When a neuropsychiatric disease alters a person's cognitive experience, what was the fundamental cause?

I want to study the brain and its diseases from a principled approach. I want to be able to ask the right questions that can tease out the differences between causes.

Relying on a harmonious blend of experiment and theory, I hope to make inroads toward a unified theory of cognition that explains why so many neuropsychiatric diseases have intensely heterogeneous clinical presentations and comorbidities.

learning and growing

I am currently doing a summer PhD rotation in the lab of Wenhao Zhang, PhD at UT Southwestern. I am working on understanding how neural circuit dynamics may implement Bayesian computations in the brain.

I worked on optimizing high-density neural recordings in non-human primates in the lab of Alex Huk, PhD at UT Austin. This was my first in-depth experience with experimental neuroscience. I helped with non-human primate surgeries, recordings, and data analysis. My project involved using Neuropixels probes to record from cortical columns in marmosets.

I worked on realtime in-vivo electrophysiology analysis techniques for high-dimensional neural probes in the lab of Loren Frank, PhD at UCSF. I worked with clusterless decoding techniques as an alternative to spike sorting. I also did in-vivo electrophysiology recordings in awake and behaving rats.

I wrote code for the data acquisition software platform at SpikeGadgets in San Francisco. I worked on improving the ability to do realtime data analysis of in-vivo neural signals to enable more labs to run closed-loop experiments. I've gotten a glimpse into what it's like working in industry as a scientist and have enjoyed the PI-like mentorship from my CEO, Mattias Karlsson, PhD. During my first internship at SpikeGadgets, I worked on a joint project with Loren Frank's lab at UCSF.

I studied theoretical synaptic plasticity rules in the lab of Mike Mauk, PhD at UT Austin. I worked on large-scale cerebellar simulations and learned a lot about the philosophy of modeling in theoretical neuroscience. I became aware of the importance of high-performance computing in theoretical neuroscience and got to tinker a bit with the lab's computing infrastructure.

I participated in the UT Southwestern STARS Summer Research Program. I worked on differential gene expression analysis and alternative splicing analysis for single-cell RNA-seq data in the lab of Gena Konopka, PhD at UT Southwestern. I explored applying different existing analyses on our lab's data and became intimately familiar with the importance of writing sanity checks and understanding the data.


I like taking pictures of the mundane vicissitudes of my life using a Fujifilm X100F. I really like mirrorless cameras because they're smaller and simpler than DSLRs.

I served as the president of Synapse, a neuroscience organization for undergraduates at UT Austin. Through this organization, I helped other neuroscience students discover their interests and get connected into research.

I really like programming languages and once volunteered for a remote Haskell conference as a host. For some reason I really like Haskell and try to use it in places it shouldn't be used.

At UT Austin, I was part of two honors programs: Turing Scholars and Dean's Scholars. If you happen to be a high school student applying to college, feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to answer questions or point you to people who can.

I started a coding summer camp with two high school friends the summer after our senior year of high school because we were disappointed by the quality of education we witnessed at other summer programs. I developed the original business idea, designed curriculum, managed purchases, helped create marketing materials, and helped launch our website.

I co-founded a failed startup with two other high school friends to fight online harassment. I developed our machine learning API to categorize abusive text beyond simple sentiment analysis. Our startup advanced to semifinals in Y-Combinator's W2017 funding round.