Daniel H. Wolf, MD, PhD

Daniel Wolf, MD, PhDDr. Wolf earned an AB in Biology from Harvard University in 1992, and obtained his PhD (Neuroscience) degree in 2000 and MD in 2001 from Yale University. His PhD work, conducted with the guidance of Eric Nestler, MD, PhD and David Russell, MD, PhD, focused on the effect of chronic morphine administration on neurotrophic factor signaling proteins in the dopaminergic reward system in rats. Dr. Wolf completed his psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Adult Psychiatry program, where he was Chief Resident of the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program. In 2005, he came to Penn as a Neurospsychiatry Fellow, and in 2008 joined the Department faculty as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Wolf is pursuing a translational research program to study the neural mechanisms of emotional and motivational deficits in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. By utilizing pharmacological challenges during fMRI neuroimaging together with detailed clinical and behavioral assessments, Dr. Wolf aims to relate specific negative symptoms of schizophrenia to dysfunction in distinct emotion-processing circuits, and develop better methods for assessing novel therapeutic interventions. He is developing active collaborations with geneticists, animal researchers, and pharmaceutical industry scientists in order facilitate clinical translation of basic neuroscientific discoveries. Dr. Wolf has been the recipient of numerous research awards and honors, including a NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2005), an APIRE/AstraZeneca Young Minds in Psychiatry Award (2008), the NARSAD Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize for Schizophrenia Research (2009) and the APA Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents (2013). He is currently Principal Investigator on a career development (K23) grant and an R01 grant, both from the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Wolf also provides longitudinal outpatient care to individuals with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. As an Attending in the Neuropsychiatry outpatient clinic, he combines this clinical care with teaching and supervision of psychiatry residents and other staff.  

Current Projects

Dr. Wolf is currently enrolling individuals with schizophrenia as well as healthy comparison subjects in a functional MRI (fMRI) study of decisions involving reward and effort. Closely related studies, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Theodore Satterthwaite, are being conducted with individuals diagnosed with unipolar or bipolar depression.

Selected Publications

  • Wolf, D.H., Numan, S., Nestler, E.J., Russell, D.S. Regulation of phospholipase C-gamma in the mesolimbic dopamine system by chronic morphine administration. Journal of Neurochemistry, 73(4):1520-1528, 1999.
  • Wolf, D.H. Anhedonia in schizophrenia. Current Psychiatry Reports, 8 (4):322-328, 2006.
  • Wolf D.H., Gur R.C., Valdez, J.N., Elliott M.A., Gur, R.E., Ragland, J.D. Alterations of fronto-temporal connectivity during word encoding in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging,154(3):221-232, 2007.
  • Wolf, D.H., Turetsky, B.I., Loughead, J., Elliott, M.A., Pratiwadi, R., Gur, R.E., Gur, R.C. Auditory oddball fMRI in schizophrenia: Association of negative symptoms with regional hypoactivation to novel distractors. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2(2):132-145, 2008.
  • Hanson E., Healey K., Wolf D., Kohler C. Assessment of pharmacotherapy for negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Current Psychiatry Reports, 12(6):563-571, 2010.
  • Satterthwaite, T.D., Wolf, D.H., Loughead, J., Ruparel, K., Valdez, J.N., Siegel, S.J., Kohler, C.G., Gur, R.E., Gur, R.C. Association of enhanced limbic response to threat with decreased cortical facial recognition memory response in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(4): 418-426, 2010.
  • Wolf, D.H., Satterthwaite, T.D., Loughead, J., Pinkham, A.E., Overton, E., Elliott, M.A., Dent, G.W., Smith, M.A., Gur, R.C., Gur, R.E. Amygdala abnormalities in first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia unmasked by benzodiazepine challenge. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 218(3):503-512, 2011.
  • Leitman, D.I., Wolf, D.H., Laukka, P., Ragland, J.D., Valdez, J.N., Turetsky, B.I., Gur, R.E., Gur, R.C. Not pitch perfect: sensory contributions to affective communication impairment in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 70(7):611-618, 2011.
  • Wolf, D.H., Gerraty, R.T., Satterthwaite, T.D., Loughead, J., Campellone, T., Elliott, M.A., Turetsky, B.I., Gur, R.C., Gur, R.E. Striatal intrinsic reinforcement signals during recognition memory: relationship to response bias and dysregulation in schizophrenia. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, e-publication, doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00081, 2011.
  • Satterthwaite, T.D., Ruparel, K., Loughead, J., Elliott, M.A., Gerraty, R.T., Calkins, M.E., Hakonsarson, H., Gur, R.C., Gur, R.E., Wolf, D.H. Being right is its own reward: Load and performance related ventral striatum activation to correct responses during a working memory task in youth. Neuroimage, 61:723-729, 2012.
  • Satterthwaite, T.D., Elliott, M.A., Gerraty, R.T., Ruparel, K., Loughead, J., Calkins, M.E., Eickhoff, S.B., Hakonsarson, H., Gur, R.C., Gur, R.E., Wolf, D.H. An improved framework for confound regression and filtering for control of motion artifact in the preprocessing of resting-state functional connectivity data. Neuroimage, 64:240-56, 2013.
  • Wolf, D.H., Pinkham, A.E., Satterthwaite, T.D., Ruparel, K., Elliott, M.A., Valdez, J., Smith, M.A., Detre, J.A., Gur, R.C., Gur, R.E. Oral alprazolam acutely increases nucleus accumbens perfusion. Molecular Psychiatry, doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.139, 2013.
  • Satterthwaite, T.D., *Wolf, D.H., Ruparel, K., Erus, G., Elliott, M.A., Eickhoff, S.B., Gennatas, E.D., Jackson, C., Prabhakaran K., Smith, A., Hakonarson, H., Verma, R., Davatzikos C., Gur, R.E., Gur, R.C. Heterogeneous impact of motion on fundamental patterns of developmental changes in functional connectivity during youth. Neuroimage. 83C:45-57. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.06.045, 2013.
  • Satterthwaite, T.D., Wolf, D.H., Erus, G., Ruparel, K., Elliott, M.A., Gennatas, E. et al. Functional maturation of the executive system during adolescence. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013 (in press).

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