Steven Hoffman

Emeritus Professor
Faculty
Tempe Campus
Mailcode

Biography

Professor Hoffman joined ASU in 1986 in the Department of Botany and Microbiology, which more recently has become the School of Life Sciences.  He is an immunologist, neuroscientist and philosopher who has studied how the immune system and brain interact. He and his collaborators explored how the immune system can affect the nervous system and lead to mental disorders, and also how psychosocial factors can influence the immune system. Currently, he approaches his prior research from philosophical perspectives. He investigates how new scientific areas (such as immunoneuropsychology) impact age-old philosophical issues, and conversely, how philosophy impacts these sciences.  His work has implications for understanding the mind and its relation to the brain, as well as to self and personal identity, thereby, influencing views on bioethical and social issues. Recently, his research has contributed to discussions of enhancement technologies in medicine and transhumanist philosophies.

Professor Hoffman's bachelor’s degree was in Chemistry, while his doctoral degree was in Philosophy.  His philosophical studies focused on the philosophy of science and mind with his thesis research, under the guidance of Professor David Hawkins, on consciousness and neurophysiological processes. While pursuing graduate studies in philosophy, I continued my studies in science.  Most of my early independent laboratory research concerned the molecular basis of memory. This work was conducted at the Institute of Behavioral Genetics in Boulder in the laboratory of Dr. J.W. MacInnes. The major goal of this work was concerned with determining the role of glial cells in learning and memory, studying the relative changes in protein synthesis in neuronal and glial cell fractions of the hippocampus and diencephalon after avoidance conditioning.

Prior to coming to ASU, he was an assistant professor in the Brain Sciences Laboratories, directed by Dr. David Shucard at the National Jewish Hospital and Research Center (NJHRC), and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His research dealt with relations between mind, the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system (IS). This work began with his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Ron Harbeck, Section of Immunology, Department of Medicine, NJHRC. It involved understanding the molecular and cellular foundations of specific immunological assault, in the CNS, on behavioral and neurophysiological processes.

My current research focuses on philosophic interests, viz., ImmunoPhilosophy, trying to integrate philosophy and immunology, including:  (1) The Immunologic Self. Problems associated with self and personal identity.  Can immunologic perspectives help philosophers better understand the concept of self and, conversely, can philosophers help immunologists in their research. ; (2) Immunoneuropsychology (INP) and the mind-body problem. Does INP have implications for better understanding how neurophysiological processes and mind are related?  What are the conceptual/theoretical foundations of INP?  (3) Immunoneuropsychology and socio-ethical issues.

Education

  • Postdoctoral, Neuroimmunology, National Jewish Hospital and Research Center, 1978
  • Ph.D. Philosophy of Science, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1975 
  • M.A. Philosophy, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1972
  • B.A. Chemistry, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1969

Publications

  • Hoffman, S.A. (2012). The immunologic self. Perspectives in Biology & Medicine 55 (3): 350-61.
  • Hoffman, S.A. Transhumanist Materialism: A Critique from Immuno-Neuro-Psychology, (In: Building BetterHumans: Refocusing the Debate on Transhumanism, Tirosh-Samuelson, H. & Mossman, K., eds.) 2011.
  • Williams, S., Sakic, B., and Hoffman, S.A. (2010) Circulating Brain-Reactive Autoantibodies and Behavioral Deficits. Journal of Neuroimmunol. 218:73-82.
  • Stanojcic M., Loheswaran G., Xu L., Hoffman S.A., &Sakic B. (2010).Intrathecal antibodies and brain damage in lupus-prone MRL mice. Brain, Behavior & Immunity. Brain Beh. Immun. 24: 289-97.
  • Hoffman, S.A., and Sakic, B., Autoimmunity and Brain Dysfunction, In: “The Neuroimmunological Basis of Behavior and Mental Disorders” Eds. Siegel, A., and Zalcman, S., Springer Science, 2009.

*****************************

  • Stanojcic M., Loheswaran G., Xu L., Hoffman S.A., & Sakic B. Intrathecal antibodies and brain damage in lupus-prone MRL mice. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (2010).
  • Williams, S., Sakic, B., and Hoffman, S.A. Circulating brain-reactive autoantibodies and behavioral deficits in the MRL model of CNS lupus. Journal of Neuroimmunology (2010).
  • Steven A Hoffman & Boris Sakic. Autoimmunity and Brain Dysfunction. The Neuroimmunological Basis of Behavior and Mental Disorders (2009).
  • Hoffman, S.A., and Sakic, B. Autoimmunity and Brain Dysfunction. The Neuroimmunological Basis of Behavior and Mental Disorders (2008).
  • Williams, S., Johnston, S.A. and Hoffman, S.A. Peptide microarray analysis of brain-reactive autoantibodies in MRL/lpr mice. Neuroscience Abstracts (2008).
  • Steven Hoffman, Boris Sakic. Brain-reactive autoantibodies and behavior. Society for Neurosciences Abstracts (2006).
  • A Zameer, Steven Hoffman. B and T cells in the brains of autoimmune mice. Journal of Neuroimmunology (2004).
  • David Ballok, Aoife Earls, Catherine Krasnik, Steven Hoffman, Boris Sakic. Autoimmune-induced damage of the midbrain dopaminergic system in lupus-prone mice. Journal of Neuroimmunology (2004).
  • P Ching, Steven Hoffman. MHC expression in autoimmune mouse brain. Society for Neurosciences Abstracts (2004).
  • A Zameer, Steven Hoffman. Increased ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression in the brains of autoimmune mice. Journal of Neuroimmunology (2003).
  • A Zameer, Steven Hoffman. Immunoglobulin binding to brain in autoimmune mice. J. Neuroimmunol (2001).
  • M Bonen, A Garcia, Steven Hoffman. A comparison of silver ion to streptavidin coated microplates. J. Microbiol. Meth (2001).
  • M Bonen, A Garcia, Steven Hoffman. Immobilization of capture antibodies on microtiter plates using silver ions. Biotechniques (2001).
  • Williams, Stephanie, Sakic, Boris, Hoffman, Steven. Role of brain-reactive autoantibodies in functional CNS damage during lupus-like disease. Neuroscience (0).

Research Activity

Presentations

  • Hoffman, Steven. Brain-reactive Autoantibodies and Behavior. ASU-BNI Neuroscience Symposium (Feb 2008).
  • Williams, Stephanie, Sakic, Boris, Hoffman, Steven. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Nov 2007).
  • Restrepo, Lucas, Williams, Stephanie, Hoffman, Steven. The brain changes with the environment. 2007 GELSS Symposium (Feb 2007).
  • Hoffman, Steven, Sakic, B. Brain-reactive autoantibodies and behavior. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Oct 2006).
  • Hoffman, Steven. The New Brain Sciences: Perils & Prospects. Science & Religion Seminar (Nov 2005).
  • Ching, P, Hoffman, Steven. MHC expression in autoimmune mouse brain. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Nov 2004).
  • Hoffman, Steven. Neuro-Immunology. Cellular and Molecular Neurosciences

Professional Associations

<p>American Philosophical Association American Association of Immunologists Society for Neuroscience</p>

Service

  • Interview for State Press, Interviewee (2009 - Present)
  • Behavioral Brain Research, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2009 - Present)
  • Health Advisory Board, Member (2009 - 2012)
  • SoLS Events Committee, Member (2009 - 2012)
  • Health Advisory Board, Member (2008 - 2012)
  • Entertainment Committee, Member (2008 - 2012)
  • Floor Monitor, Captain (2008 - 2012)
  • ASU Experts List, Resource for Information (2006 - Present)
  • Personnel Committee, Member (2006 - 2012)
  • Trilogy Theatre Club, Member (2014 - Present)
  • Science & Religion, Discussion Group Member (2006 - 2012)
  • Science & Religion, Discussion Group Member (2006 - 2012)
  • SoLS Adjunct/Affiliate Committee, Member (2006 - 2012)
  • SoLS Adjunct/Affiliate Committee, Member (2006 - 2012)
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Advisor (2006 - 2012)
  • Speakers Bureau for University, Speaker (2006 - Present)
  • Tai Chi Club, Assistant Advisor/Instructor (2006 - 2012)
  • Ask A Biologist, Respondent (2005 - Present)
  • Trilogy Singers Club, Member (2012 - Present)
  • Health Advisory Board, Member (2009 - 2011)
  • SoLS Events Committee, Member (2009 - 2011)
  • Floor Monitor, Captain (2008 - 2011)
  • Personnel Committee, Member (2006 - 2011)
  • SoLS Adjunct/Affiliate Committee, Member (2006 - 2011)
  • Ask A Biologist, Respondent (2005 - 2011)
  • Science & Religion, Discussion Group Member (2006 - 2010)
  • Behavioural Brain Research, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • National Medical Research Council (Singapore), Ad Hoc Reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, Chair of a session on Philosophy of Biology (2004)
  • The National Medical Research Council (Singapore), Grant Review (2004 - 2004)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2003)
  • Journal of Immunology (American Assoc. of Immunologists), Ad Hoc Reviewer (2003)
  • Journal of Neuroimmunology, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2003)
  • Personnel Committee, Member (2003)