Isabella Farhy

Assistant Professor



Farhy Lab Website

Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, 3141A

Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, 3132B, D

Joined the Department in 2020

  • B.Sc., 2001, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Life Sciences, Sociology, and Anthropology
  • M.Sc., 2005, Tel Aviv University, Medical Sciences
  • Ph.D., 2012, Tel Aviv University, Molecular Neuroscience
  • Postdoctoral research, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Astrocyte-neuron communication during development and in disease

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.

Farhy Google Scholar Profile

  1. Farhy-Tselnicker, I, Boisvert, MM, Liu, H, Dowling, C, Erikson, GA, Blanco-Suarez, E et al.. Activity-dependent modulation of synapse-regulating genes in astrocytes. Elife. 2021;10 :. doi: 10.7554/eLife.70514. PubMed PMID:34494546 PubMed Central PMC8497060.
  2. Farhy-Tselnicker, I, Allen, NJ. Astrocytes, neurons, synapses: a tripartite view on cortical circuit development. Neural Dev. 2018;13 (1):7. doi: 10.1186/s13064-018-0104-y. PubMed PMID:29712572 PubMed Central PMC5928581.
  3. Farhy-Tselnicker, I, van Casteren, ACM, Lee, A, Chang, VT, Aricescu, AR, Allen, NJ et al.. Astrocyte-Secreted Glypican 4 Regulates Release of Neuronal Pentraxin 1 from Axons to Induce Functional Synapse Formation. Neuron. 2017;96 (2):428-445.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.053. PubMed PMID:29024665 PubMed Central PMC5663462.
  4. Yakubovich, D, Berlin, S, Kahanovitch, U, Rubinstein, M, Farhy-Tselnicker, I, Styr, B et al.. A Quantitative Model of the GIRK1/2 Channel Reveals That Its Basal and Evoked Activities Are Controlled by Unequal Stoichiometry of Gα and Gβγ. PLoS Comput Biol. 2015;11 (11):e1004598. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004598. PubMed PMID:26544551 PubMed Central PMC4636287.
  5. Farhy Tselnicker, I, Boisvert, MM, Allen, NJ. The role of neuronal versus astrocyte-derived heparan sulfate proteoglycans in brain development and injury. Biochem Soc Trans. 2014;42 (5):1263-9. doi: 10.1042/BST20140166. PubMed PMID:25233401 .
  6. Farhy Tselnicker, I, Tsemakhovich, V, Rishal, I, Kahanovitch, U, Dessauer, CW, Dascal, N et al.. Dual regulation of G proteins and the G-protein-activated K+ channels by lithium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111 (13):5018-23. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316425111. PubMed PMID:24639496 PubMed Central PMC3977261.
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