Clifford Woolf

Reinventing painkillers

November 5, 2018

Clifford Woolf wants to reboot drug discovery to find a new way to treat pain: effectively and responsibly.

  • Woolf’s goal is to stop the opioid crisis by rejecting the conventional approach to drug discovery and developing painkillers that do not harm people or communities. 
  • He is using stem cells to create models of pain, outside the body and in a dish, that can be used to screen for drugs swiftly and on a large scale.
  • The new approach requires ‘all hands’: expertise, equipment, and collaboration in stem...
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Pain in a dish

November 24, 2014

Turning skin cells into pain-sensing neurons


Human noxious stimulus detecting sensory neurons produced by converting skin cells with a set of five genes to this new fate—enabling study of "pain"in a dish. (Credit: Elizabeth Buttermore, PhD)

After more than...

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Patient stem cells help identify common problem in ALS

April 3, 2014

Discovery will lead directly to clinical trials

Harvard stem cell scientists have discovered that a recently approved medication for epilepsy may possibly be a meaningful treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—Lou Gehrig’s disease, a uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorder. The researchers are now collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital to design an initial clinical trial testing the safety of the treatment in ALS patients.... Read more about Patient stem cells help identify common problem in ALS