Anna Molofsky, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Psychiatry
415-502-3609

Glia in neural circuit formation and function

Glial cells, including astrocytes and microglia are increasingly implicated in neurodevelopment and disease. Our lab studies the molecular mechanisms by which glia support circuit and synapse formation during development.  We use a combination of transcriptional profiling to identify glial-encoded candidate genes and molecular genetics to study the role of these pathways in developing neural circuits in spinal cord, thalamus, and other CNS regions. We are particularly interested in how astrocytes communicate with microglia to regulate synapse number and circuit function, and  how these cell types are involved in physiologic roles of the innate immune system in the brain. These studies will form a basis for understanding the role of astrocytes in psychiatric diseases of neural circuit formation, including schizophrenia, autism, and others.

Current Projects

  • Astrocyte-encoded positional cues in developmental synapse formation
  • Astrocyte-microglial communication and the innate immune system in neural circuit development
  • Expression profiling of regionally heterogeneous forebrain astrocytes in postnatal development

Lab Members
check our website for the latest roster

Hiromi Inoue
Lab Manager
hiromi.inoue@ucsf.edu

Leah Dorman
Neuroscience Graduate Student
leah.dorman@ucsf.edu

Phil Nguyen
BMS Graduate Student
phi.nguyen1003@gmail.com

Greg Chin
Research Technician
gregory.chin2@ucsf.edu

Ilia Vainchtein
Postdoc
ilia.vainchtein@ucsf.edu

Lab Website