Thomas Ernst KNÖPFEL, Prof

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Professor Thomas Knöpfel, Chair Professor, Department of Physics, Director of JC STEM laboratory of Neuronal Circuit Dynamics. He graduated both in Physics and Medicine at the Ulm University (Germany) and promoted at the University of Zürich (Switzerland), where he also served as assistant and associate professor before acquiring some experience in drug discovery at Swiss Big Pharma. In 1997 Thomas Knöpfel relocated to Japan to head the Laboratory for. Neuronal Circuit Dynamics at the newly established RIKEN Brain Science Institute. In 2013 he became Chair in Optogenetics and Circuit Neurosciences at Imperial College (UK). Prof Knöpfel joined HKBU 2023. He has published over 230 research papers in journals such as Nature, Nature Methods, Nature Communications, PNAS, J Neuroscience, J Neurophysiology, Cerebral Cortex. Notable reviews were published in Nature Review Neuroscience and Nature Review Drug Discovery. 

Research Interests

Professor Knöpfel research interest revolve around the fundamental question how the brain generates cognition and emotions. What defines as, from a natural science perspective, to be human? On the practical level, his experimental work make good use of the opportunities offered by optical imaging technologies and genetics. He actively collaborates with theoretical neuroscientists to unravel neuronal circuit mechanism. 

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


Dive into the research topics where Thomas Ernst KNÖPFEL is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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