Assistant Professor of Animal Science




  • D. 12/2010           Neurobiology, Montpellier University 2, France, European mention
  • D. 12/2010           Biochemistry, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, Cum Laude
  • Postdoc 06/11-03/17     Department of Reproductive Medicine, UC San Diego.



Dr. Hoffmann’s research program is focused on understanding the molecular pathways and brain circuitry regulating function of the hypothalamus and the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the major pacemaker of the body, and how their impaired function affects hormone release, behavior and reproductive competence. Uncoordinated hormone release, as seen in shift workers and people sitting in front of bright screens late into the night, is a growing health concern and affects more than 20% of the US population. Not only do impaired circadian rhythms increase the risk of endocrine disorders such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, but they also affect mental health and lead to infertility. To further our understanding of the importance of circadian rhythms in endocrine-related disorders, Dr. Hoffmann has developed novel mouse models allowing her to understand the central control of timed hormone release.

The major goal of Dr. Hoffmann’s research is to understand how abnormal SCN function leads to desynchronization of hormone release and how this relates to cellular function, for example through receptor expression and localization. Her long term goal is to identify novel drug targets for the treatment of arrhythmia, infertility and preterm labor.

Dr. Hoffmann’s current projects use numerous molecular biology approaches, including novel transgenic mouse models, reporter mice (Per2::luciferase, TdTomato, etc), and recordings from live cells and tissues, in combination with behavioral studies.


Research topics

  • Reproduction
  • Neuro-endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Development
  • GPCR


2014    Early Career Forum Travel award for ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago, IL (Women in Endocrinology)

2015    Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award (ENDO 2015)

2016    Neena Schwartz Young Investigator Award in Basic Science (Women in Endocrinology)

2016    Early Investigators Award supported by Merck & Co., Inc. (Endocrine Society)

2017    New Investigator Award (Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology)

Key Publications

  • Hoffmann HM, Trang C, Gong P, Kimura I, Pandolfi EC, and Mellon PL. Deletion of Vax1 from Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons Abolishes GnRH Expression and Leads to Hypogonadism and Infertility. J Neurosci. 2016 Mar 23;36(12):3506-18. PMID: 27013679
  • Hoffmann HM#, Gong P, Tamrazian A, and Mellon PL. Transcriptional interaction between cFOS and the homeodomain-binding transcription factor VAX1 on the GnRH promoter controls Gnrh1 expression levels in a GnRH neuron maturation specific manner. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017 Sep 7. PMID:28890143
  • Moreno E, Hoffmann H, Gonzalez-Sepulveda M, Navarro G, Casado V, Cortes A, Mallol J, Vignes M, McCormick PJ, Canela EI, Lluis C, Moratalla R, Ferre S, Ortiz J, Franco R (2011). Dopamine D1-histamine H3 receptor heteromers provide a selective link to the map-kinase signalling in gabaergic neurons of the direct striatal pathway. J Biol Chem. Feb 18;286(7):5846-54. PMID: 21173143
  • Hoffmann HM, Crouzin N, Moreno E, Raivio N, Fuentes S, McCormick PJ, Ortiz J and Vignes M. Long-lasting impairment of mGluR5-activated intracellular pathways in the striatum after withdrawal of cocaine self-administration. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Oct 15. PMID: 27744406
  • Xie H*, Hoffmann HM*, Iyer AK, Brayman MJ, Ngo C, Sunshine MJ, and Mellon PL. Chromatin status and transcription factor binding to gonadotropin promoters in gonadotrope cell lines. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2017 Oct 24. PMID:29065928


Full publication list