Clifford Woolf
Clifford Woolf, MB, BCh, PhD
Professor of Neurology

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.

 

"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."

Publications View
DeepEthogram, a machine learning pipeline for supervised behavior classification from raw pixels.
Authors: Authors: Bohnslav JP, Wimalasena NK, Clausing KJ, Dai YY, Yarmolinsky DA, Cruz T, Kashlan AD, Chiappe ME, Orefice LL, Woolf CJ, Harvey CD.
Elife
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Dissecting the precise nature of itch-evoked scratching.
Authors: Authors: Wimalasena NK, Milner G, Silva R, Vuong C, Zhang Z, Bautista DM, Woolf CJ.
Neuron
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Promoting Long-Term Cultivation of Motor Neurons for 3D Neuromuscular Junction Formation of 3D In Vitro Using Central-Nervous-Tissue-Derived Bioink.
Authors: Authors: Kong JS, Huang X, Choi YJ, Yi HG, Kang J, Kim S, Kim J, Lee H, Rim YA, Ju JH, Chung WK, Woolf CJ, Jang J, Cho DW.
Adv Healthc Mater
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Isolation of Nuclei from Mouse Dorsal Root Ganglia for Single-nucleus Genomics.
Authors: Authors: Yang L, Tochitsky I, Woolf CJ, Renthal W.
Bio Protoc
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Human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis excitability phenotype screen: Target discovery and validation.
Authors: Authors: Huang X, Roet KCD, Zhang L, Brault A, Berg AP, Jefferson AB, Klug-McLeod J, Leach KL, Vincent F, Yang H, Coyle AJ, Jones LH, Frost D, Wiskow O, Chen K, Maeda R, Grantham A, Dornon MK, Klim JR, Siekmann MT, Zhao D, Lee S, Eggan K, Woolf CJ.
Cell Rep
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Inhibition of inflammatory pain and cough by a novel charged sodium channel blocker.
Authors: Authors: Tochitsky I, Jo S, Andrews N, Kotoda M, Doyle B, Shim J, Talbot S, Roberson D, Lee J, Haste L, Jordan SM, Levy BD, Bean BP, Woolf CJ.
Br J Pharmacol
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Human cells and networks of pain: Transforming pain target identification and therapeutic development.
Authors: Authors: Renthal W, Chamessian A, Curatolo M, Davidson S, Burton M, Dib-Hajj S, Dougherty PM, Ebert AD, Gereau RW, Ghetti A, Gold MS, Hoben G, Menichella DM, Mercier P, Ray WZ, Salvemini D, Seal RP, Waxman S, Woolf CJ, Stucky CL, Price TJ.
Neuron
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Reduced MC4R signaling alters nociceptive thresholds associated with red hair.
Authors: Authors: Robinson KC, Kemény LV, Fell GL, Hermann AL, Allouche J, Ding W, Yekkirala A, Hsiao JJ, Su MY, Theodosakis N, Kozak G, Takeuchi Y, Shen S, Berenyi A, Mao J, Woolf CJ, Fisher DE.
Sci Adv
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FceR1 expressing nociceptors trigger allergic airway inflammation.
Authors: Authors: Crosson T, Wang JC, Doyle B, Merrison H, Balood M, Parrin A, Pascal M, Mindt BC, Seehus CR, Ozcan A, Huang X, Semenara E, Lai NY, Majdoubi A, Abdulnour RE, Rajchgot T, Rafei M, Foster SL, Thibodeau J, Fritz JH, Levy BD, Woolf CJ, Talbot S.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
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Brain Responses to Noxious Stimuli in Patients With Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Authors: Authors: Xu A, Larsen B, Henn A, Baller EB, Scott JC, Sharma V, Adebimpe A, Basbaum AI, Corder G, Dworkin RH, Edwards RR, Woolf CJ, Eickhoff SB, Eickhoff CR, Satterthwaite TD.
JAMA Netw Open
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