Travis Thompon’s academic and research career helped many people with disabilities. Thompson died in August. He was 86 and lived in Roseville.
Thompson’s long career is summarized in his biography on the Association for Behavioral Analysis International. He received his doctoral training in psychology at the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland and at Cambridge University. His earliest work dealt with the relations among concepts from behavior analysis, ethology, and pharmacology. He was director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Smith Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Minnesota in 2003.
Thompson co-authored the first textbook in behavioral pharmacology and did basic and applied interdisciplinary research in developmental disabilities, including genetics, pharmacology, and neuroscience. He was involved in developing one of the first large-scale behavioral intervention programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and for several years directed home-based early intervention services for young children with autism in Minnesota.
His research and practice had a profound effect on improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Thompson also loved art and was an accomplished stained glass and water color artist. He is survived by his wife, Anneke; children and grandchildren.
Memorials preferred to the Autism Society of Minnesota or Minnesota Public Radio. A celebration of Travis’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 23 at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis 900 Mt Curve.