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Sonya Sonnenberg, Ph.D.

Biomedical Engineering


University of California, San Diego – Bioengineering


Elizabeth Loboa, Ph.D.


Sonya Sonnenberg earned her BS at Arizona State University in 2008 and her PhD at the University of California, San Diego in 2012, both in Biomedical Engineering.  Her research as a doctoral candidate focused on the development, characterization, and testing of injectable biomaterial scaffolds for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.  Her work with naturally-derived extracellular matrix hydrogels lead to the first demonstration of their ability to sequester and deliver growth factors via resident sulfated sugars present in the hydrogels.  Sonya is currently a SPIRE postdoctoral scholar in the Cell Mechanics Laboratory at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Her current research involves synthetic fiber reinforcement of extracellular matrix hydrogels for orthopedic applications, such as meniscus reconstruction.  Sonya values clinical collaborations and has always focused on highly translational research, with the goal of developing therapies for patients.  Sonya also enjoys talking about science, especially when she gets to present to K-12 students.  She is committed to both mentoring and outreach and hopes to contribute positively to her communities – scientifically, personally, and professionally.


Wolf MT, Dearth CL, Sonnenberg SB, Loboa EG, Badylak SF. 2015. Naturally derived and synthetic scaffolds for skeletal muscle reconstruction. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 84:208-221. PMCID: PMC5942587