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Dr Sonata Suk-Yu Yau
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Sonata YAU

Associate Professor


Dr Yau completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2005, and her PhD degree in Neuroscience in Department of Anatomy, The University of Hong Kong in 2009. Before she joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, she received a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Hong Kong between 2009 and 2012, followed by another postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Medical Sciences at The University of Victoria (British Columbia) in Canada in 2012. She is particularly interested in using different disease animal models to investigate the effects of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions on promoting brain plasticity. Her current research projects are centered on the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory. She investigates the underlying mechanisms of physical exercise-induced hippocampal plasticity in disease animal models (e.g depression and mental retardation), and identifying its related biomarkers for translational research in humans. She also investigates changes in hippocampal plasticity underlying cognitive impairment and therapeutic treatments in mental retardation. She uses a number of research techniques to assess hippocampal structure and function, such as behavioral analysis, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and western blot analysis.

Dr Yau is actively recruiting graduate students who wish to pursue MPhil/PhD in the field of neuroplasticity in diseased animal models. like depression and autism. Undergraduate students who are interested in experiencing scientific research are also welcome to work as volunteers for specific research projects.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Hong Kong

Research Interests

  • Non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments for cognitive impairment in diseased brains
  • Underlying mechanisms and biomarkers of physical exercise-induced brain plasticity

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