Center for Brain Injury and Repair
University of Pennsylvania

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John A. Wolf

John Wolf Picture

Instructor, Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. John A. Wolf is an Instructor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wolf’s research program is highly collaborative, and focuses on a number of broad areas related to Neurotrauma and Repair.

Trained as a computational and systems level neuroscientist, Dr. Wolf’s goals are a deeper understanding of the role of diffuse brain injury in disrupting communication between and within brain regions.  He believes that functional measures such as in vivo electrophysiology post-injury will most successfully elucidate the disruption that occurs to white matter pathways as well as the circuitry in important cognitive areas such as the hippocampus. 

In collaboration with Drs. Smith and Cullen, Dr. Wolf is also leading the electrophysiological efforts to integrate electrodes with nervous tissue in vitro so that it can then be implanted for both peripheral and central nervous system repair (Neural Engineering).  He is particularly excited to be adding optogenetic tools for feedback to the neural interface, as well as using them for neuromodulation in vivo.  He is also leading the effort to utilize stretch-grown axonal tissue to repair peripheral nerve lesions in a large-mammalian model of peripheral nerve injury.

Dr. Wolf received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on computational models of the nucleus accumbens in Dr. Leif Finkel’s laboratory. He was then a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Diego Contreras examining recordings utilizing chronic multiple electrode arrays in awake behaving rats, examining information processing in this area of the brain. His next training was as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Brain Injury and Repair in the Department of Neurosurgery where he developed a method of slice recording of the porcine hippocampus post traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Wolf is currently an active member of the National Neurotrauma Society and the Society for Neuroscience, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the International Basal Ganglia Society, as well as a Review Editor for Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Neurosurgery

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