Philip Wolf, MD

Philip Wolf

Professor of Neurology

Phone: 617.638-5450
Fax: 617.638-8086
Location: Robinson, B-608



Dr. Philip A. Wolf received his medical degree from the State University of New York College of Medicine at Syracuse, and completed his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is Professor of Neurology, Research Professor of Medicine (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine) at Boston University School of Medicine, and Professor of Public Health at Boston University School of Public Health. He was Co-PI on the Contract, The Framingham Study, Physical Examination, Testing and Surveillance awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to Boston University School of Medicine from 1983 to 1989, and Principal Investigator from 1989 to 2000. Dr. Wolf continues as the Principal Investigator on the renewed contract, The Framingham Heart Study, 2001-2008.

For many years he was Chief of the Cerebrovascular Disease Section of the Department of Neurology and directed a number of international cooperative clinical studies of stroke: The NINDS Stroke Data Bank, The Ticlopidine-Aspirin Stroke Study (TASS), Boston Area Anticoagulation Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (BAATAF), North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) and the Clopidogrel-Aspirin Prevention of Ischemic Events Study (CAPRIE).

Dr. Wolf has served on Executive Committees and Data Safety Monitoring Boards for a number of NIH and industry supported studies of Stroke including TASS, BAATAF, NASCET, BRAVO, VISP, TRENDS, WHI Stroke Study, and ProFESS. He serves on the monitoring boards of two NHLBI studies including the Cardiovascular Health Study and The Jackson Heart Study.

Research Interests

Dr. Wolf has served as active investigator in epidemiological studies of neurological diseases, principally stroke. His affiliation with The Framingham Heart Study spans more than 35 years and he is currently Principal Investigator of the NHLBI contract to conduct examinations and maintain surveillance of the Framingham Study cohorts.

In addition, Dr. Wolf is principal investigator of the AMRI, Genetics and Cognitive Precursors of AD and Dementia project, Epidemiology of Dementia Study, and the Precursors of Stroke Incidence and Prognosis Study, all NIH-funded research programs. The study of precursors and manifestations of stroke and dementia as well as outcome following stroke have been major aims of his research, which has been continuously funded since 1981.

ADC Role

Dr. Wolf, as PI of the Framingham Heart Study and of an NIA funded R01 grant studying AD & Dementia in the Framingham Study cohorts, participates in the scientific activities of the ADC. He is studying the role of vascular disease and vascular risk factors in cognitive decline, dementia, and specifically, AD. He is in charge of the active and successful brain donation program of Framingham Study subjects. Data generated by the systematic, quantitative examination of these brains by the ADC Neuropathology Core are related to life-style and medical variables collected over 35 years and to neuropsychological and quantitative brain MRI data within one year of death.


Dr. Wolf received the Jacob A. Javits Neuroscience Award by the Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke. He was the first individual to receive the Humana Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke of the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association.  Dr. Wolf received the Mihara Award from the International Stroke Society and the American Stroke Association’s C. Miller Fisher Award.

Dr. Wolf is a member or fellow of numerous professional associations, including the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurologic Association, American Heart Association, American College of Epidemiology, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Epidemiological Society, and the council of Geriatric Cardiology. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association’s Stroke and Epidemiology Councils and served on the Executive Committee of both Councils.

Dr. Wolf previously served on the editorial board of the journal Stroke. He is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and one of five Editors of the 4th Edition of the textbook Stroke – Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management (2005).

Recent Publications

Seshadri S, Beiser A, Selhub J, Jacques PF, Rosenberg IH, D’Agostino RB, Wilson PWF, Wolf PA. Plasma Homocysteine as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2002;346:476-83. [PubMed]

Seshadri S, Wolf PA. Reply to the Editor: Plasma Homocysteine as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2002;346;25:2008. [PubMed]

Tan ZS, Seshadri S, Beiser A, Wilson PWF, Kiel DP, Tocco M, D’Agostino RB, Wolf PA. Plasma Total Cholesterol as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease: The Framingham Study. Arch Int Med 2003; 163:1053-1057. [PubMed]

Massaro JM, D’Agostino RB, Sullivan LM, Beiser A, DeCarli C, Au R, Elias MF, Wolf PA. Managing and Analysing Data From a Large-Scale Study on Framingham Offspring Relating Brain Structure to Cognitive Function. Statist Med 2004;23:351-367.[PubMed]

Au R, Wolf PA, Beiser A, Seshadri S. New Norms for a New Generation: Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Exp Aging Res 2004;30:333-358. [PubMed]

Tan ZS, Seshadri S, Beiser A, Zhang Y, Felson D, Hannan MT, Au R, Wolf PA, Kiel DP. Bone Mineral Density and the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Arch Neurol 2005;62:107-111. [PubMed]

Elias PK , Elias MF, D’Agostino RB, Sullivan LM, Wolf PA Serum Cholesterol and Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Heart Study. Psychosomatic Medicine 2005;67:24-30. [PubMed]