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.
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)