Immunology Faculty Member -Clifford Woolf, PhD

Clifford Woolf, PhD

Boston Children's Hospital
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
300 Longwood Avenue, CLS 12258
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-919-2393
Fax: 617-919-2772
Lab Members: 17 Postdoctoral Fellows, 5 Graduate Students

Our group is devoted to investigating the way in which the functional, chemical and structural plasticity of neurons contributes both to the normal function and diseases of the nervous system. Our major efforts are devoted to the study of the development of somatosensory circuits, pain and regeneration. Most of our work is concentrated on primary sensory and spinal cord neurons, using a multidisciplinary approach spanning immunology, molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, behavior, and genetics. We are a part of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and our lab has a dynamic mix of basic and translational research.

Recently, our lab has become interested in understanding how cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system contribute to inflammatory and neuropathic pain. More broadly, we are also interested to define the ways in which the immune and nervous systems interact, whether in the form of neurogenic inflammation or immune modulation of nervous signaling. To this end, we are exploring these questions via bioinformatic, immunological, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches.

Neurons ----- Immune Cells

Last Update: 7/24/2014


Chiu IM, Heesters BA, Ghasemlou N, Von Hehn CA, Zhao F, Tran J, Wainger B, Strominger A, Muralidharan S, Horswill AR, Wardenburg JB, Hwang SW, Carroll MC, Woolf CJ. Bacteria activate sensory neurons that modulate pain and inflammation. Nature. 501:52-57 2013

Binshtok AM, Wang H, Zimmermann K, Amaya F, Vardeh D, Shi L, Brenner GJ, Ji RR, Bean BP, Woolf CJ, Samad TA. Nociceptors are interleukin-1beta sensors. J Neurosci. 2008 28:14062-73.

COX2 in CNS neural cells mediates mechanical inflammatory pain hypersensitivity in mice. Vardeh D, Wang D, Costigan M, Lazarus M, Saper CB,
Woolf CJ, Fitzgerald GA, Samad TA. J Clin Invest. 2009 119:287-94.

Amaya F, Samad TA, Barrett L, Broom DC,
Woolf CJ. Periganglionic inflammation elicits a distally radiating pain hypersensitivity by promoting COX-2 induction in the dorsal root ganglion. Pain. 2009 142:59-67.

Costigan M, Moss A, Latremoliere A, Johnston C, Verma-Gandhu M, Herbert TA, Barrett L, Brenner GJ, Vardeh D,
Woolf CJ, Fitzgerald M.T-Cell Infiltration and Signaling in the Adult Dorsal Spinal Cord Is a Major Contributor to Neuropathic Pain-Like Hypersensitivity. J Neurosci. 2009 29:14415-14422.

Neely GG, Hess A, Costigan M, Keene AC, Goulas S, Langeslag M, Griffin RS, Belfer I, Dai F, Smith SB, Diatchenko L, Gupta V, Xia CP, Amann S, Kreitz S, Heindl-Erdmann C, Wolz S, Ly CV, Arora S, Sarangi R, Dan D, Novatchkova M, Rosenzweig M, Gibson DG, Truong D, Schramek D, Zoranovic T, Cronin SJ, Angjeli B, Brune K, Dietzl G, Maixner W, Meixner A, Thomas W, Pospisilik JA, Alenius M, Kress M, Subramaniam S, Garrity PA, Bellen HJ,
Woolf CJ*, Penninger JM. A genome-wide Drosophila screen for heat nociception identifies α2δ3 as an evolutionarily conserved pain gene. Cell. 2010 143:628-38 (*joint senior author)

Boulting GL, Kiskinis E, Croft GF, Amoroso MW, Oakley DH, Wainger BJ, Williams DJ, Kahler DJ, Yamaki M, Davidow L, Rodolfa CT, Dimos JT, Mikkilineni S, Macdermott AB,
Woolf CJ, Henderson CE, Wichterle H, Eggan K. A functionally characterized test set of human induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Biotechnol. 2011 29:279-86.

Brenneis C, Sisignano M, Coste O, Altenrath K, Fischer MJ, Angioni C, Fleming I, Brandes RP, Reeh PW,
Woolf CJ, Geisslinger G, Scholich K. Soluble epoxide hydrolase limits mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation. Mol Pain. 2011 7:78.

Cobos EJ, Ghasemlou N, Araldi D, Segal D, Duong K,
Woolf CJ. Inflammation-induced decrease in voluntary wheel running in mice: A nonreflexive test for evaluating inflammatory pain and analgesia. Pain. 2012 153:876-884.

Sorge RE, Trang T, Dorfman R, Smith SB, Beggs S, Ritchie J, Austin JS, Zaykin DV, Meulen HV, Costigan M, Herbert TA, Yarkoni-Abitbul M, Tichauer D, Livneh J, Gershon E, Zheng M, Tan K, John SL, Slade GD, Jordan J,
Woolf CJ, Peltz G, Maixner W, Diatchenko L, Seltzer Z, Salter MW, Mogil JS. Genetically determined P2X7 receptor pore formation regulates variability in chronic pain sensitivity. Nature Medicine. 2012 18:595-599

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