Matthew J. Wolf, MD, PhD
Photo: Matthew J. Wolf



Elected 2017

My research interests are to understand how signaling molecules mediate cardiomyocyte growth, hypertrophy, and heart failure. We use novel approaches based on fruit fly genetics to identify genes that cause or modify cardiomyopathies and translate these findings using mammalian cell-based systems and transgenic mice. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is our primary phenotyping strategy to measure heart chamber sizes and function in adult flies and provides images that are analogous to those obtained by echocardiography in humans. Applying this phenotyping method, we have performed large screens of molecularly-defined deficiencies across the fly genome and identified a variety of genes that cause dilated cardiomyopathy. More recently, we characterized cardiac hypertrophy in adult Drosophila, examined the Raf kinase pathway, and identified that interactions between signaling pathways involving Raf-kinase and Hippo/yorkie. We are now translating the observations from our Drosophila investigations to mammals using a variety of transgenic mice and are excited about the possibilities of identifying new therapeutic targets to treat heart diseases. Dr. Wolf graduated from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed his Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. He is a resident member of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center and the Co-director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic at the University of Virginia.