PiN Faculty Member - Clifford Woolf, MB, BCh, PhD

Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD

Professor in Neurology and Neurobiology

Boston Children's Hospital
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
Center for Life Sciences, Room 12-258
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-724-3622
Fax: 617-724-3632
Visit my lab page here.

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. Major efforts are devoted to the study of pain, regeneration and neurodegenerative diseases. Most of our work is concentrated on primary sensory and motor neurons, and to the interaction of neurons and immune cells, using a multidisciplinary approach spanning stem cell, molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, behavior and genetics. We have established functional and comparative genomic strategies using expression profiling, bioinformatics and gain- and loss-of-function approaches, to screen for novel genes that contribute to neuronal plasticity and disease phenotypes. The group works closely with many academic groups and the pharmaceutical industry to model disease and identify molecular targets for novel analgesics, axonal growth determinants and neuroprotective agents. Current research includes study of the transcriptional control and post-translational processing of receptors and ion channels that mediate pain hypersensitivity, selective silencing of defined neuronal populations, intracellular signal transduction cascades activated by peripheral inflammation and nerve injury, neuro-immune interactions, transcription factors as master regulators of pain, growth and survival programs, cell survival in injured sensory and motor neurons, and the contribution of intrinsic growth determinants in establishing regenerative capacity in the peripheral and central nervous system. We are an active part of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and are investigating how sensory and motor neurons reprogrammed from patient fibroblasts can be used to study pain and motor neuron disease and to screen for new treatments.

Last Update: 11/13/2020


For a complete listing of publications click here.



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