Faculty & Research
- John Assad, Ph.D.
- Bruce P. Bean, Ph.D
- Richard T. Born, M.D.
- David Cardozo, Ph.D.
- David E. Clapham, M.D., Ph.D.
- Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D.
- David P. Corey, Ph.D.
- S. Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D.
- Ruth Anne Eatock, Ph.D.
- Edwin J. Furshpan, Ph.D.
- Lisa V. Goodrich, Ph.D.
- Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D.
- Chenghua Gu, D.V.M., Ph.D.
- Chris Harvey, Ph.D.
- Corey Harwell, Ph.D.
- David H. Hubel, M.D.
- Pascal S. Kaeser, M.D.
- Morris J. Karnovsky, M.B.B.CH., D.Sc.
- Joshua M. Kaplan, Ph.D
- Edward A. Kravitz, Ph.D.
- Margaret S. Livingstone, Ph.D.
- Qiufu Ma, Ph.D.
- Richard H. Masland, Ph.D.
- Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.
- John H.R. Maunsell, Ph.D.
- David L. Paul, Ph.D.
- David D. Potter, Ph.D.
- Elio Raviola, M.D., Ph.D.
- Wade Regehr, Ph.D.
- R. Clay Reid, M.D., Ph.D.
- Dragana Rogulja, Ph.D.
- Bernardo Sabatini, M.D, Ph.D
- Thomas L. Schwarz, Ph.D.
- Rosalind Segal, M.D., Ph.D.
- Charles D. Stiles, Ph.D.
- Charles J. Weitz, M.D., Ph.D.
- Rachel I. Wilson , Ph.D.
- Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D.
- Gary Yellen, Ph.D.
Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Children’s Hospital Boston
Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Our lab 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 the work is concentrated on primary sensory and spinal cord neurons, using a multidisciplinary approach spanning molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, behavior, and mouse and human genetics. We have established functional and comparative genomic strategies using expression profiling, bioinformatics and gain- and loss-of function approaches to screen for genes involved in neuronal development, pain and regeneration. Current research includes study of the transcriptional control and post-translational processing of receptors and ion channels that mediate pain hypersensitivity, intracellular signal transduction cascades activated by peripheral inflammation and nerve injury, transcription factors as master regulators of pain, growth and survival programs, cell survival in injured sensory neurons and the contribution of intrinsic growth determinants in establishing regenerative capacity in the peripheral and central nervous system. We work to identify and validate molecular targets for novel analgesics and axonal growth determinants. In collaboration with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, we are investigating how sensory neurons can be reprogrammed from patient fibroblasts to study pain mechanism and screen for analgesic efficacy. We also collaborate with the Bean lab to target drugs into specific neurons using ion channels as a drug delivery system.
Tegeder I, Costigan M, Griffin RS, Abele A, Belfer I, Schmidt H, Ehnert C, Nejim J, Marian C, Scholz J, Wu T, Allchorne A, Diatchenko L, Binshtok AM, Goldman D, Adolph J, Sama S, Atlas SJ, Carlezon WA, Parsegian A, Lotsch J, Fillingim RB, Maixner W, Geisslinger G, Max MB, Woolf CJ. GTP cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin regulate pain sensitivity and persistence. Nature Medicine. 2006 12:1269-1277.
Seijffers R, Mills CD, Woolf CJ. ATF3 increases the intrinsic growth state of DRG neurons to enhance peripheral nerve regeneration. J Neurosci. 2007 27:7911-20
Griffin RS, Costigan M, Brenner GJ, Ma CH, Scholz J, Moss A, Allchorne AJ, Stahl GL, Woolf CJ. Complement induction in spinal cord microglia results in anaphylatoxin C5a-mediated pain hypersensitivity. J Neurosci. 2007 27:8699-708
Binshtok AM, Bean BP, Woolf CJ. Inhibition of nociceptors by TRPV1-mediated entry of impermeant sodium channel blockers. Nature. 2007 449:607-10.
Kohno T, Wang H, Amaya F, Brenner GJ, Cheng JK, Ji RR, Woolf CJ. Bradykinin enhances AMPA and NMDA receptor activity in spinal cord dorsal horn neurons by activating multiple kinases to produce pain hypersensitivity. J Neurosci. 2008 28:4533-40.
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
Binshtok AM, Gerner P, Bae Oh S, Puopolo M, Suzuki S, Roberson DP, Herbert T, Wang CF, Kim D, Chung G, Mitani AA, Wang GK, Bean BP, Woolf CJ Co-application of Lidocaine and the Permanently Charged Sodium Channel Blocker QX-314 Produces a Long-lasting Nociceptive Blockade in Rodents. Anesthesiology. 2009 111:127-37
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.
Costigan M, Scholz J, Woolf CJ Neuropathic Pain: A Maladaptive Response of the Nervous System to Damage. Annual Review of Neuroscience 2009. 32:1-32.
For a complete listing of Clifford Woolf's publications on PubMed, click here.