Marina E. Wolf, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine
  • Member, M.D./Ph.D. Program Committee, School of Medicine
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Dr. Marina Wolf is Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University. She has been a pioneer in studying the role of neuronal plasticity in drug addiction. Her laboratory uses animal models to understand why persons recovering from substance use disorder remain vulnerable to drug craving and relapse even after long periods of abstinence. Dr. Wolf received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Yale in 1986 and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cell Biology, Sinai Hospital of Detroit. She was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University before moving to the Chicago Medical School in 1992. Her laboratory has been continuously supported by NIDA since 1992 and she is presently PI on two R01 awards. She has previously been the recipient of a Merit Award from NIDA (R37) as well as a Senior Scientist Research and Mentorship Award (K05).  She has served as a member of the NIDA Advisory Council, the NIH Council of Councils, the NIDA Board of Scientific Counselors, the Scientific Council of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the Council of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). Dr. Wolf was President of the ACNP in 2019. She has served on many NIH study sections, including 2 years as Chair of MNPS. She presently serves as a Board Member of the American Brain Coalition. She was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2017.

Dr. Wolf's office is in MRB 835.

Education and training

    • B.A., 1981, Northwestern University
    • Ph.D., 1986, Yale University

Memberships and associations:

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Fellow (President 2019, Council member 2020-2022)
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, Scientific Council (2016-2022)
  • Board Member, American Brain Coalition (2020-present)

Areas of interest

  • Synaptic plasticity underlying behavioral changes in animal models of drug addiction

Honors and awards

  • MERIT Award, NIDA (R37 DA015835, 2003-2013)
  • Special Lecturer, Society for Neuroscience 2014
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017
  • Chicago Society for Neuroscience Career Achievement Award, 2017
  • Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award, ACNP, 2021
  • Julius Axelrod Prize, Society for Neuroscience, 2022
  • Outstanding Researcher (Biological Sciences), Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter, 2023


Selected publications

  • 1. Wolf ME (2016) Synaptic mechanisms underlying persistent cocaine craving. Nat Rev Neurosci 17(6):351-65. PMC5466704
  • 2. Christian DT*, Wang XT*, Chen E, Sehgal L, Ghassemlou M, Miao J, Estepanian D, Araghi C, Stutzmann GE, Wolf ME (2017) Dynamic alterations of nucleus accumbens dendritic spines during the incubation of cocaine craving. Neuropsychopharmacology 42(3):748-756. PMC5240181
  • 3. Werner CT, Stefanik MT, Milovanovic M, Caccamise A, Wolf ME (2018) Protein translation in the nucleus accumbens is dysregulated during cocaine withdrawal and required for expression of incubation of cocaine craving. J Neurosci 38(11):2683-2697. PMC5852654
  • 4. Stefanik MT, Milovanovic M, Werner CT, Spainhour JCG, Wolf ME (2018) Withdrawal from cocaine self-administration alters the regulation of protein translation in the nucleus accumbens. Biol Psychiatry 84(3):223-232. PMC6054574
  • 5. Scheyer AF, Christian DT, Wolf ME, Tseng KY (2018) Emergence of endocytosis-dependent mGlu1-LTD at nucleus accumbens synapses after withdrawal from cocaine self-administration. Front Synaptic Neurosci 10:36. Doi:10.3389/fnsyn.2018.00036. PMC6232902
  • 6. Loweth JA, Reimers JM, Woo K-Y, Chauhan N, Werner CT, Wolf ME (2019) Metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 regulates GluA1 translation and cell surface expression of homomeric GluA1 receptors via retinoic acid signaling. Eur J Neurosci 50(3):2590-2601. PMC7575416  
  • 7. Murray CH, Loweth JA, Milovanovic M, Stefanik MT, Caccamise A, Dolubizno H, Funke JR, Olive MF, Wolf ME (2019) AMPA receptor and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 adaptations in the nucleus accumbens core during incubation of methamphetamine craving. Neuropsychopharmacology 44(9):1534-1541. PMC7575416
  • 8. Murray CH, Christian DT, Milovanovic M, Loweth JA, Caccamise A, Funke JR, Wolf ME (2021) mGlu5 function in the nucleus accumbens core during the incubation of methamphetamine craving. Neuropharmacology, 2021 Mar 15;186:108452. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108452. Epub 2021 Jan 12. PMID: 33444640 (PMC in progress)
  • 9. Christian DT, Stefanik MT, Bean LA, Loweth JA, Wunsch AM, Funke JR, Briggs CA, Lyons J, Neal D, Milovanovic M, D’Souza GX, Stutzmann GE, Nicholson DA, Tseng K-Y, Wolf ME. GluN3-containing NMDA receptors in nucleus accumbens core are required for incubation of cocaine craving. J Neurosci. 2021 Aug 19: JN-RM-0406-21. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0406-21.2021. PMID: 34413203
  • 10. Murray CH, Gaulden AD, Kawa AB, Milovanovic M, Caccamise AJ, Funke JR, Patel S, Wolf ME. CaMKII modulates diacylglycerol lipase-α activity in the rat nucleus accumbens after incubation of cocaine craving. eNeuro. 2021 Oct 8;8(5):ENEURO.0220-21.2021. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0220-21.2021. PMC7575416