Wolfram Ruf, MD

Professor of Immunology
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus


Research Focus

The laboratory's interests are studies in vascular biology and immunology employing cell, molecular biology and transgenic animal technology. The TF-initiated coagulation pathway has remained a major focus of ongoing research because of its critical role in cell signaling that drives systemic inflammation, metastasis and angiogenesis. Building on a comprehensive elucidation of the structural biology of TF and its protease ligand VIIa, we developed biochemical models of how cell signaling and initiation of coagulation are closely interrelated. We have defined relevant TF-driven signaling pathways through protease activated receptors (PARs) and have identified the underlying signaling mechanism of the anti-apoptotic and vascular protective effects of the anticoagulant activated protein C. The laboratory is focused on the basic cell biology of TF and how TF regulates the signaling of integrins and PARs. We are utilizing a number of newly generated animal models with altered signaling properties in the TF coagulation pathway. These models are under investigation to define the signaling specificity of the TF coagulation pathway in angiogenesis, oncogenic transformation and inflammation.


Ph.D., Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Clinical Research Unit for Blood Coagulation and Thrombosis, 1986

Professional Experience

2006-2017 Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
2001-2005 Associate Professor (with tenure), Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1996-2001 Associate Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1992-1996 Assistant Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1990-1992 Senior Research Associate, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1988-1990 Exchange Visitor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research
1987-1988 Research Associate, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science

Awards & Professional Activities

1988 Otto Hahn Medal Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany
1996 Established Investigator Award of the American Heart Association
1999 Membership (elected) American Society for Clinical Investigation
2005 Investigator Recognition Award ISTH
2005 Special Recognition Award ATVB Council, American Heart Association
2007 Sol Sherry Distinguished Lecturer in Thrombosis, ATVB Council, American Heart Association
2007 – present   Hemostasis & Thrombosis NIH Study Section

Selected References

All Publications

Riewald, M., Ruf, W. Mechanistic coupling of protease signaling and initiation of coagulation by tissue factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98:7742-7, 2001.

Riewald, M., Petrovan, R.J., Donner, A., Mueller, B.M., Ruf, W. Activation of endothelial cell protease activated receptor 1 by the protein C pathway. Science 296:1880-1882, 2002.

Belting, M., Dorrell, M.I., Sandgren, S., Aguilar, E., Ahamed, J., Dorfleutner, A., Carmeliet, P., Mueller, B.M., Friedlander, M., Ruf,W. Regulation of angiogenesis by tissue factor cytoplasmic domain signaling. Nature Med. 10:502-9, 2004.

Dorfleutner, A., Hintermann, E., Tarui, T., Takada, Y., Ruf, W. Crosstalk of integrin α3β1 and tissue factor in cell migration. Mol. Biol. Cell, 15:4416-4425, 2004.

Ahamed, A., Versteeg, H.H., Kerver, M., Chen, V.M., Mueller, B.M., Hogg, P.J., Ruf, W. Disulfide isomerization switches tissue factor from coagulation to cell signaling. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103:13932-13937, 2006.

Versteeg, H.H., Schaffner, F., Kerver, M., Petersen, H.H., Ahamed, J., Felding-Habermann, B., Takada, Y., Mueller, B., Ruf, W.  Inhibition of tissue factor signaling suppresses tumor growth.  Blood 111:190-199, 2008. PMCID: PMC2200804.

Schaffner, F., Versteeg, H.H., Schillert, A., Yokota, N., Petersen, L.C., Bueller, B.M., Ruf, W. Cooperation of tissue factor cytoplasmic domain and PAR2 signaling in breast cancer development. Blood, 116(26):6106-13, 2010.

Disse, J., Petersen, H.H., Larsen, K.S., Persson, E., Esmon, N., Esmon, C.T., Teyton, L., Petersen, L.C., Ruf, W.  The endothelial protein C receptor supports tissue factor ternary coagulation initiation complex signaling through protease-activated receptors.  J Biol Chem, 286(7):5756-67, 2011.

Furlan-Freguia, C., Marchese, P., Gruber, A., Ruggeri, Z.M., Ruf, W.  P2X7 receptor signaling contributes to tissue factor-dependent thrombosis in mice.  J Clin Invest, 121(7):2932-44, 2011.