Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Clifford J. Woolf works on pain and on the regeneration and degeneration of the nervous system, with a particular focus on neurological disease modeling and drug screening in patient iPS cell-derived neurons. He was born in South Africa, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He moved to London in 1979 and became Professor of Neurobiology at University College London. In 1997 he was recruited by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (HMS) to serve as the first Richard J. Kitz Professor of Anesthesiology Research at HMS. In 2007 he was appointed Principal Faculty Member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and in 2010 was named director of the F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and became Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at HMS. Dr. Woolf is deputy director of the Intellectual Developmental Disability Disorders Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and co-director of the neuroscience program of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Over his career Dr. Woolf has received many honors and prizes. He was awarded the Gill Distinguished Scientist award, the Reeve-Irvine medal, the Kerr award from the American Pain Society, a Founders Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and became an honorary fellow of the Irish College of Anesthetists. He was awarded the Magnes medal in Israel in 2013 and selected to deliver the FE Bennett Memorial Lecture by the American Neurological Association in 2012. He was awarded a Javits Award from the NINDS at the NIH in 2011, delivered the Schmidt lecture at MIT in 2011, the Bonica Lecture for the International Society of the Study of Pain in 2010, was Visiting Professor at Columbia University in 2009 and received the Wall Medal from the Royal College of Anesthetists in the U.K also in 2009. In 2015 Dr. Woolf was appointed to the Board of Scientific Councilors of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.