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Sonja Hofer, Ph.D.

University College London


Sonja Hofer is a Professor at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, University College London in London since 2018. She undertook her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany, after which she went to University College London, UK, as a Postdoc. From 2013 to 2017 she held an Assistant Professorship at the Biozentrum, University Basel, Switzerland. She received several awards including the Wellcome Beit Prize and Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize. Her research focuses on understanding the neural basis of sensory perception. Her laboratory studies how the brain processes visual information, how visual neural networks are shaped by experience and learning, and how they integrate visual signals with other information in order to represent and interpret the outside world. Moreover, they aim to reveal how these sensory circuits influence behaviour to generate flexible reactions to environmental challenges. Her research group studies these questions using state-of-the-art methodology combining high-resolution in vivo imaging techniques, electrophysiology, quantitative animal behaviour, and genetic tools to trace and manipulate neural circuits.