American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Bryan Wolf, PhD
1992 Scientific Achievement by a Young Investigator

Bryan A. Wolf will receive the 17th annual AACC Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement by a Young Investigator, which is sponsored by Boehringer Mannheim Corporation.

Born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1959, Dr. Wolf moved with his family to Paris, France. He entered the School of Medicine Necker-Enfants-Malades of the University of Paris and graduated in 1984 with a Doctor of Medicine degree. He also obtained a M.Sc. degree in pharmacology from the Institute of Pharmacology at the University of Paris-Jussieu and a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Endocrinology, also in 1984.

Dr. Wolf’s introduction to clinical chemistry occurred while he was in the pediatric endocrinology department at the Hopital des Enfants-Malades. A project on 24-hour variations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropin concentrations in hypothyroid infants formed the basis of his M.D. thesis. Dr. Wolf’s research interests in the endocrine system and pancreas were kindled by Professor Paul Czernichow of the University of Paris, who convinced him to work in a research laboratory in the summer of 1981.

From 1981 to 1984 he explored the role of peptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) in the endocrine pancreas during development and its regulation by triiodothyronine. These studies resulted in several publications. In 1984 he moved to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, for further training, where he spent 3 productive years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael McDaniel in the Department of Pathology. He examined in detail the role of calcium stores of the endoplasmic reticulum in regulating insulin secretion. His studies showed that second messengers inositol trisphosphate and arachidonic acid were important regulators of intracellular calcium levels in the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans.

In 1987 Dr. Wolf entered the residency training program in Laboratory Medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. His faculty advisors, AACC members Jack Ladenson and John Turk, trained Dr. Wolf in clinical chemistry and toxicology. Dr. Turk introduced him to therapeutic-drug monitoring and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.

From 1989 to 1990 Dr. Wolf was Chief Fellow in Clinical Chemistry at Barnes Hospital. His clinical activities included cyclosporine monitoring in transplant patients and bedside glucose monitoring. His research centered on measuring by mass spectrometry the phospholipid-derived second messengers present in the beta cells and showing their regulation by glucose. His studies also delineated the role of diacylglycerol in the signal transduction events of insulin secretion. In 1990 Dr. Wolf moved to Philadelphia, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and assistant director of the Clinical Toxicology Laboratory of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches clinical toxicology and therapeutic-drug monitoring to medical students, residents in laboratory medicine, and medical technologists.

Dr. Wolf is the author of 54 scientific publications. His current research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association. By understanding how glucose normally stimulates the secretion of insulin from islets, Dr. Wolf hopes to gain important insight into how this process breaks down and becomes deficient in Type II diabetes mellitus.