The Farhy lab studies the cross talk of two major cell types in the brain, neurons and astrocytes, focusing on how they shape synapse development and activity. Correct formation of synapses is crucial for normal brain function and synapse deficits have been implicated in most brain disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, major depression and Alzheimer's disease.
To investigate these interactions, we use rodents as model system, combining in vitro pure cell cultures with in vivo transgenic and knockout mice. These are analyzed using cutting-edge omics approaches such as mass-spectrometry, bulk and single cell RNAseq, as well as histology and functional assays.
We aim to uncover the cellular pathways activated in both neurons and astrocytes following their interaction at the synapse, leading to identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of synaptic dysfunctions in brain disorders.