Professor Stefan Thor

 - Associate Investigator

Research focus: Control of proliferation and cell fate of neural progenitors

Stefan Thor obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Umea University, Sweden. He conducted his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA. Thereafter, he established his first independent lab, in the Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. After ten years in the US, he moved back to his native country Sweden in 2004, to a professorship in developmental biology at Linkoping University. Professor Thor is currently honorary professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Professor Thor’s current research is focused upon the development and function of the hypothalamus; a small structure in the centre of the human brain, weighing in at a mere 4 g of the total 1,4 kg of an adult human brain. In spite of its small size, the hypothalamus controls a wide range of bodily functions, such as energy and fluid balance, thermoregulation, sleep-wake states, stress responses, growth and reproductive behaviours, as well as emotional and social behaviours. Given its many roles it is not surprising that the hypothalamus is involved in a growing number of human diseases and ailments, such as obesity, infertility and sleeping disorders. Professor Thor’s research aims to address the role of a number of human genes that have been implicated in hypothalamus dysfunction, in particular in obesity and infertility, by using a combination of tools, such as genetically modified mice, mouse and human stem cells, as well as stem cell 3D culture (organoids).