Anna Victoria Molofsky, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

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
[email protected]

Leah Dorman
Neuroscience Graduate Student
[email protected]

Phil Nguyen
BMS Graduate Student
[email protected]

Greg Chin
Research Technician
[email protected]

Ilia Vainchtein
[email protected]

Lab Website


Academic community service and committee membership:
NS admissions committee, MSTP council; BMS first-year advisor, SRTP host, have undergone Mentorship training workshops, BMS student mental health task force, Suicide Prevention Action Group, School of Medicine