Thomas Surrey received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He then spent three years at Princeton University, USA, as a postdoc, before he moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.
He started his lab at EMBL in 2002. In 2011 he moved his lab to the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (which is now part of the Francis Crick Institute). In 2012 he was elected an EMBO member.
In 2015 he received the Hooke Medal of the British Society of Cell Biology.