Anna Victoria R. Molofsky, M.D., Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Psychiatry
Institution
University of California, San Francisco
Address
1550 4th Street
Rock Hall 384B, Campus Box 2711
City, State, Zip
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone
(415) 502-3609
E-mail
anna.molofsky[at]ucsf.edu
Website
https://www.annamolofskylab.org
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2017

Research

Our lab studies brain development from the perspective of glia—specialized support cells that are also communication hubs between the immune system and the brain. The brain generates thoughts and behaviors via connections between nerve cells. These connections, called synapses, are formed and removed in huge numbers during childhood and with learning. Our lab has discovered a key role for glia and the immune system in coordinating the important process of synapse remodeling. Using molecular genetics, transcriptomics, and imaging, we will elucidate how nerve cells communicate with two types of glia—astrocytes and microglia—to ensure that the right number of synapses form during brain development. These studies have the potential to uncover new treatments for diseases at the brain-immune interface, including autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative diseases.