About Anna

Education and interests: I completed my undergraduate training in Neuroscience and Chemistry at Amherst College, and subsequently received my MD/PhD from the University of Michigan as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).  In my graduate work with Sean Morrison, I studied how common molecular mechanisms in stem cells and cancer regulate the self-renewal and aging of stem cells in the brain. As a postdoctoral fellow with David Rowitch, I focused on the non-neuronal cells of the brain, collectively known as glia. I developed approaches to molecularly profile developing glia, with a focus on understanding the role of astrocytes in nervous system development, and defined one of the first examples of how astrocyte molecular heterogeneity impacts the development and function of neural circuits. The Molofsky lab, established in July of 2015, studies the roles glia exhibit in brain development and synapse formation, with a particular interest in how they mediate communication between the immune system and the brain. We recently defined a role for the cytokine interleukin-33 (IL-33) in promoting microglial synapse engulfment during brain development.

Clinical training: I completed my residency in adult psychiatry at UCSF and obtained additional training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. I maintain a faculty practice at UCSF in the Langley-Porter Psychiatric Institute. 

Honors and Awards:

  • 2017 NIH New Innovator Award

  • 2017 Pew Biomedical Scholar

  • 2016 Young Investigator Award, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

  • 2015 Career Award for Medical Scientists, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

  • 2014 ACNP Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

  • 2013 APA-Pfizer MD/PhD Psychiatric Research Fellowship, American Psychiatric Association

  • 2007 Dean’s Award for Research Excellence, University of Michigan Medical School

  • 2006 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

  • 1997 Phi Beta Kappa

UCSF Profiles Page