Interview with 2017 Pew Scholar Anna Molofsky, MD, PhD by MSTP II, Marci Rosenberg

MSTP II, Marci Rosenberg, recently interviewed Anna Molofsky for a feature on the School of Medicine's website. You can find the full interview there.

As our whirlwind first year of medical school came to a close, the inaugural Bridges class rapidly dispersed to different UCSF campuses, across the country and around the world. My classmates are spending their summers participating in an incredibly diverse bounty of activities, including spending time with family, shadowing physicians, getting married(!) and engaging in public health research abroad.

For the MD/PhD students like myself, we are in a lab during our summer between the first and second year of medical school. Like other graduate students, MD/PhD students do a few short rotations in a few different labs to help them figure out where they ultimately want to do their thesis work. I was thrilled to get a chance to work with Anna Molofsky, MD, PhD. Her lab’s research focus fascinates me, and for the first time, I am working in a lab led by a woman. I spent a lot of the summer working with research tools that I had rarely or never worked with before: rodents, cell cultures, viruses, the statistical software R, and I was so very lucky to work with a lab team that was happy to help me out when I inevitably forgot where the petri dishes were (again).

This was also an exciting summer for Dr. Molofsky. She was recently recognized as a 2017 Pew Biomedical Scholar, which is a prestigious award for early-career investigators. All of us in the lab are delighted for her - it an honor she undoubtedly deserves.

Dr. Molofsky received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and chemistry from Amherst College, and her MD and PhD from the University of Michigan. Coming to UCSF as a resident was a dream fulfilled for Dr. Molofsky and her husband, who is an immunologist ("UCSF is the best place in the world for neuroscience and immunology," she said). After residency, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF and joined the UCSF faculty in 2015.

When asked what brings her the most joy, Dr. Molofsky said, “I love working with students. My favorite day is Friday because I have all of my one-on-one meetings. It’s so exciting to move beyond only one set of data that you’re generating to look at all of these different sets of data that different people are generating. That’s the best part: the direct mentorship, creating the science with people, with mentees and colleagues. Collaborating is great at UCSF.”

For the rest of Marci's interview with Dr. Molofsky, see the School of Medicine website.