Immunology Faculty Member -Clifford Woolf, PhD

Clifford Woolf, PhD

Boston Children's Hospital
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, CLS 12258
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-919-2265
Fax: 617-919-2772
Lab Members: 17 Postdoctoral Fellows, 3 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 somatosensory circuits, pain, neurodegeneration and regeneration. We use multidisciplinary approaches spanning molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, behavior, and genetics. We are a part of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and increasingly exploit stem cell derived human cells and our lab has a dynamic mix of basic and translational research.

Our lab is interested in defining 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, single cell profiling, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches. Increasingly we recognize that the immune and nervous systems detect and respond to danger together and interact to cause pathological conditions, especially allergic inflammation. We find that silencing the nervous system ameliorates certain immunological disease conditions and offers new therapeutic opportunities.

Neurons ----- Immune Cells

Last Update: 6/25/2018


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. 2013 501:52-57.
Chiu IM, Barrett LB, Williams EK, Strochlic DE, Lee S, Weyer AD, Lou S, Bryman G, Roberson DP, Ghasemlou N, Piccoli C, Ahat E, Wang V, Cobos EJ, Stucky CL, Ma Q, Liberles SD, Woolf CJ. Transcriptional profiling at whole population and single cell levels reveals somatosensory neuron molecular diversity. Elife. 2014 Dec 19;3. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04660
Latremoliere A, Latini A, Andrews N, Cronin SJ, Fujita M, Gorska K, Hovius R, Romero C, Chuaiphichai S, Painter M, Miracca G, Babaniyi O, Remor AP, Duong K, Riva P, Barrett LB, Ferreirós N, Naylor A, Penninger JM, Tegeder I, Zhong J, Blagg J, Channon KM, Johnsson K, Costigan M, Woolf CJ. Reduction of Neuropathic and Inflammatory Pain through Inhibition of the Tetrahydrobiopterin Pathway. Neuron. 2015 86:1393-406.
Talbot S, Abdulnour RE, Burkett PR, Lee S, Cronin SJ, Pascal MA, Laedermann C, Foster SL, Tran JV, Lai N, Chiu IM, Ghasemlou N, DiBiase M, Roberson D, Von Hehn C, Agac B, Haworth O, Seki H, Penninger JM, Kuchroo VK, Bean BP, Levy BD, Woolf CJ. Silencing Nociceptor Neurons Reduces Allergic Airway Inflammation. Neuron. 2015 87:341-354
Ghasemlou N, Chiu IM, Julien JP, Woolf CJ. CD11b+Ly6G- myeloid cells mediate mechanical inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 112:E6808-17
Talbot S, Foster SL, Woolf CJ. Neuroimmune Physiology and Pathology. Annu Rev Immunol. 2016 34:421-47
Azimi E, Reddy VB, Pereira PJ, Talbot S, Woolf CJ, Lerner EA. Substance P activates Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors to induce itch. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 pii: S0091-6749(17)30230-0
Alexandre C, Latremoliere A, Ferreira A, Miracca G, Yamamoto M, Scammell TE, Woolf CJ. Decreased alertness due to sleep loss increases pain sensitivity in mice. Nat Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):768-774.
Chen Y, Zeng X, Huang X, Serag S, Woolf CJ, Spiegelman BM. Crosstalk between KCNK3-Mediated Ion Current and Adrenergic Signaling Regulates Adipose Thermogenesis and Obesity. Cell. 2017 Nov 2;171(4):836-848
Foster SL, Seehus CR, Woolf CJ, Talbot S. Sense and Immunity: Context-Dependent Neuro-Immune Interplay. Front Immunol. 2017 Nov 3;8:1463.
Blake KJ, Baral P, Voisin T, Lubkin A, Pinho-Ribeiro FA, Adams KL, Roberson DP, Ma YC, Otto M, Woolf CJ, Torres VJ, Chiu IM. Staphylococcus aureus produces pain through pore-forming toxins and neuronal TRPV1 that is silenced by QX-314. Nat Commun. 2018 9:37. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02448-6.

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