"Type 2 immunity in brain synaptic development"

Anna Victoria Molofsky, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences University of California, San Francisco

Professor Molofsky completed her undergraduate training in Neuroscience and Chemistry at Amherst College, and subsequently received her MD/PhD from the University of Michigan as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Her training focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating CNS stem cell self-renewal and aging, as well as molecular and functional characterization of glial heterogeneity. The Molofsky lab, established in July of 2015, studies the roles of glial cells and neuroimmunity in brain development and synapse formation. Clinical training: She completed her residency in adult psychiatry at UCSF and obtained additional training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. She maintain a faculty practice at UCSF in the Langley-Porter Psychiatric Institute.

Brain development, glial cells, and the immune system: from neural circuits to behavior

Synapse formation is an essential aspect of brain development. Synaptic dysfunction is a common feature of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, epilepsy, and schizophenia. Healthy brain development depends on the dynamic interactions of multiple cell types, including neurons, astrocytes, and microglia. It is increasingly clear that immune signaling also impacts the brain, not only in pathology, but during development and homeostasis. For example, our group has shown that cytokine signaling plays key roles in modulating microglial function and synaptic development. In ongoing projects, we continue to use transcriptomics, mouse genetics, and imaging to study neuroimmunity and neuron-glial communication in development, plasticity and behavior.

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