Barbara Wolfe, professor, nursing
Ph.D., Boston College
Specialization: Psychiatric mental health nursing, eating disorders
Representative publication: “The Effects of Dieting on Plasma Leptin, Soluble Leptin Receptor, Adiponectin, and Resistin Levels in Healthy Volunteers,” Clinical Endocrinology
My research focuses on the psychobiology of eating disorders in women, in particular the relationship between neurotransmitter functioning and mood, impulsivity, and eating behavior. One of my current projects is exploring the regulation of serotonin in anorexia nervosa and its relationship to how patients respond to treatment.
I very much like working with patients, particularly in mental health, and I’ve always had an interest in neurobiology, so I found an opportunity to link the two. People who have eating disorders suffer from a debilitating illness that has certain psychological and medical consequences. There is a wide range of clinical options available, including psychotherapy and pharmacology for psychiatric patients. However, very few treatments studies for anorexia have been done to date, and even these have shown marginal success. The opportunity to understand the illness better, to better provide care and treatment, is important.