Michael V. Sofroniew M.d. Ph.d


Assistant Professor
Department of Neurobiology

Young Hall 3048B | Young Hall 2024, 2041 (labs)
310-794-4944 | 310-206-2262 (lab)


  • BSc, Loyola University, 1974
  • Ludwig-Maximilians University, 1981
  • PhD, University of Oxford, 1984

Awards and Positions

  • Demuth Young Investigator Award of the International Brain Research Organization, 1984
  • Lord Crewe’s Scholarship, Lincoln Colleege, Oxford, 1981-1984
  • NIH Individual Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, 1981-83

Research Interests

Our work is directed at achieving a better understanding of the cell biology of the response to injury in the adult central nervous system. We are particularly interested in the roles played by specific cell types (e.g. astroglia) and specific molecules (e.g. growth factors and cytokines) in mediating neuroprotection, regulating inflammation and determining the capacity for regeneration. Our studies are based largely on systems-level analysis in transgenic mouse models. Specific techniques employed include microsurgery, tissue culture, grafting (also from precursor cells and genetically modified cells), immunohistochemistry, tract-tracing, quantitative morphometry, and various molecular biological techniques associated with generating, maintaining, and evaluating transgenic mice.  


Recent Papers

  1. Sofroniew M.V., “Transgenic techniques for cell ablation or molecular deletion to investigate functions of astrocytes and other GFAP-expressing cell types,” Methods Mol Biol. 2012;814:531-44.
  2. Tao J., Wu H., Lin Q., Wei W., Lu X.H., Cantle J.P., Ao Y., Olsen R.W., Yang X.W., Mody I., Sofroniew M.V., Sun Y.E., “Deletion of astroglial Dicer causes non-cell-autonomous neuronal dysfunction and degeneration,” J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 1;31(22):8306-19.
  3. Spence R.D., Hamby M.E., Umeda E., Itoh N., Du S., Wisdom A.J., Cao Y., Bondar G., Lam J., Ao Y., Sandoval F., Suriany S. Sofroniew M.V., Voskuhl R.R., “Neuroprotection mediated through estrogen receptor-alpha in astrocytes,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 24;108(21):8867-72. Epub 2011 May 9.
  4. Hamby M.E., Sofroniew M.V., “Reactive astrocytes as therapeutic targets for CNS disorders,” Neurotherapeutics. 2010 Oct;7(4):494-506. Review.
  5. Crawford D.K., Mangiardi M., Song B., Patel R., Du S., Sofroniew M.V., Voskuhl R.R., Tiwari-Woodruff S.K., “Oestrogen receptor beta ligand: a novel treatment to enhance endogenous functional remyelination,” Brain. 2010 Oct;133(10):2999-3016. Epub 2010 Sep 21.
  6. Shigetomi E., Kracun S., Sofroniew M.V., Khakh B.S., “A genetically targeted optical sensor to monitor calcium signals in astrocyte processes,” Nat Neurosci. 2010 Jun;13(6):759-66. Epub 2010 May 23.
  7. Sarafian T.A., Montes C., Imura T., Qi J., Coppola G., Geschwind D.H., Sofroniew M.V., “Disruption of astrocyte STAT3 signaling decreases mitochondrial function and increases oxidative stress in vitro,” PLoS One. 2010 Mar 10;5(3):e9532.
  8. Sofroniew M.V., Vinters H.V., “Astrocytes: biology and pathology,” Acta neuropathol. 2010 Jan;11991):7-35. Epub 2009 Dec 10. Review.
  9. Gregorian C., Nakashima J., Dry S.M., Nghiemphu P.L. Smith K.B., Ao Y., Dang J., Lawson G., Mellinghoff I.K., Mischel P.S., Phelps M., Parada L.F., Liu X., Sofroniew M.V., Eilber F.C., Wu H., “PTEN dosage is essential for neurofibroma development and malignant transformation,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov 17;106(46):19479-84. Epub 2009 Oct 21.
  10. Sofroniew M.V., “Molecular dissection of reactive astrogliosis and glial scar formation,” Trends Neurosci. 2009 Dec;32(12):638-47. Epub 2009 Sep 24. Review.