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
Epineural optogenetic activation of nociceptors initiates and amplifies inflammation.
Authors: Authors: Michoud F, Seehus C, Schönle P, Brun N, Taub D, Zhang Z, Jain A, Furfaro I, Akouissi O, Moon R, Meier P, Galan K, Doyle B, Tetreault M, Talbot S, Browne LE, Huang Q, Woolf CJ, Lacour SP.
Nat Biotechnol
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Transcriptional Reprogramming of Distinct Peripheral Sensory Neuron Subtypes after Axonal Injury.
Authors: Authors: Renthal W, Tochitsky I, Yang L, Cheng YC, Li E, Kawaguchi R, Geschwind DH, Woolf CJ.
Neuron
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Non-surgical mouse model of endometriosis-associated pain that responds to clinically active drugs.
Authors: Authors: Fattori V, Franklin NS, Gonzalez-Cano R, Peterse D, Ghalali A, Madrian E, Verri WA, Andrews N, Woolf CJ, Rogers MS.
Pain
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Vagal sensory neurons drive mucous cell metaplasia.
Authors: Authors: Talbot S, Doyle B, Huang J, Wang JC, Ahmadi M, Roberson DP, Yekkirala A, Foster SL, Browne LE, Bean BP, Levy BD, Woolf CJ.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
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Convergent neural representations of experimentally-induced acute pain in healthy volunteers: A large-scale fMRI meta-analysis.
Authors: Authors: Xu A, Larsen B, Baller EB, Cobb Scott J, Sharma V, Adebimpe A, Basbaum AI, Dworkin RH, Edwards RR, Woolf CJ, Eickhoff SB, Eickhoff CR, Satterthwaite TD.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev
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Unraveling the Plastic Peripheral Neuroimmune Interactome.
Authors: Authors: Jain A, Hakim S, Woolf CJ.
J Immunol
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Capturing Novel Non-opioid Pain Targets.
Authors: Authors: Woolf CJ.
Biol Psychiatry
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Sepiapterin Reductase Inhibition Leading to Selective Reduction of Inflammatory Joint Pain in Mice and Increased Urinary Sepiapterin Levels in Humans and Mice.
Authors: Authors: Fujita M, Scheffer DDL, Turnes BL, Cronin SJF, Latrémolière A, Costigan M, Woolf CJ, Latini A, Andrews NA.
Arthritis Rheumatol
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Recurrent SMARCB1 Mutations Reveal a Nucleosome Acidic Patch Interaction Site That Potentiates mSWI/SNF Complex Chromatin Remodeling.
Authors: Authors: Valencia AM, Collings CK, Dao HT, St Pierre R, Cheng YC, Huang J, Sun ZY, Seo HS, Mashtalir N, Comstock DE, Bolonduro O, Vangos NE, Yeoh ZC, Dornon MK, Hermawan C, Barrett L, Dhe-Paganon S, Woolf CJ, Muir TW, Kadoch C.
Cell
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Novel charged sodium and calcium channel inhibitor active against neurogenic inflammation.
Authors: Authors: Lee S, Jo S, Talbot S, Zhang HB, Kotoda M, Andrews NA, Puopolo M, Liu PW, Jacquemont T, Pascal M, Heckman LM, Jain A, Lee J, Woolf CJ, Bean BP.
Elife
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