Professor Wolf graduated with a B.A. (1975) from Indiana University and M.D. (1979) from Indiana University School of Medicine. He did his surgical internship at Methodist Hospital of Indiana from 1979-1980 and his residency training at the University of Virginia Medical Center and Roanoke Memorial Hospitals(1980-84). Dr. Wolf served as Instructor in Surgery, University of Virginia from 1984-85. His fellowship in vascular surgery was completed at the Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati in 1986 and his cardiothoracic surgery fellowship was completed at the University of Cincinnati in 1988. He is American Board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.
After fellowships, Dr. Wolf joined his mentor, Dr. Flege in the practice of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1989, self-taught in thoracoscopy, he began performing thorascopic surgery. From 1990 to 1997 he introduced several new thorascopic procedures in Cincinnati, including thorascopic mammary artery mobilization, thorascopic pericardial window, and thorascopic sympathectomy.
He was the first in the world to perform totally endoscopic first rib resection and harmonic scalpel mammary artery mobilization. With Dr. Crawford (Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati) he helped evolve thorascopic thoracic spine surgery. Dr. Wolf worked with Dr. Crawford successfully completing over 150 pediatric thorascopic spine procedures. He served as director of cardiac and thoracic training courses at the Ethicon-Endosurgery Institute for six years. During this time he was awarded a patent on a distal anastomotic device for cardiac surgery.
In December 1998, he began performing totally endoscopic cardiac surgeries in Europe. He was the first U.S. surgeon to have clinical experience with totally endoscopic coronary bypass. He performed the first endoscopic cardiac procedure in North America at the Ohio State University in the fall of 1999 and completed the first FDA study with DaVinci robotic system for cardiac surgery.
He has performed live minimally-invasive cases in more than eighteen countries and is currently training cardiac surgeons from around the world in new cardiac techniques. He was appointed Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery and Robotics at Ohio State in 1999. He was promoted to professor in 2002. He joined the University of Cincinnati in 2003, as tenured Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, and subsequently inaugurated The Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) in the Department of Surgery at UC. He served as the Director of the CSI. He was named the inaugural holder of the endowed Ethicon-Endosurgery Chair for Innovation in Surgery (2005). He served as the inaugural co-editor of the Innovations Journal. Dr. Wolf then directed the Atrial Fibrillation Center at Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently he is the director of the Wolf Atrial Fibrillation Center-Cincinnati.
Professor Wolf has been a visiting professor in over 25 institutions, including Oxford University in England, Tokyo University in Japan, and Capital University in China.
Dr. Wolf’s professional affiliations include the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS), American College of Surgeons (ACS), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (ISMICS), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). He serves on advisory boards to several companies including Atricure. He has served on the STS practice committee, as well as several ISMICS committees. Dr. Wolf served as President of ISMICS from 2005-6, President of the 21st Cardiothoracic Surgery Club from 2007-8, and is the current President of the Berry Society. Dr. Wolf is also a member of The Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle) in Hollywood.
Dr. Wolf and robotic heart surgery were highlighted on PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, hosted by American award-winning actor Alan Alda.
Areas of research expertise: Minimally invasive heart and lung surgery; robotics in cardiac surgery, anastomotic devices, surgical sealants; and biosurgery and minimally invasive atrial fibrillation devices and procedures, including the Wolf Mini-Maze. To learn more about the Wolf Mini-Maze, visit wolfminimaze.com.
Interests and subspecialty: Robotic assistance in minimally invasive heart surgery, minimally invasive coronary artery bypass and valve repair, instrumentation for minimally invasive heart surgery, video thoracoscopy and video-assisted thoracic surgery, lung volume reduction for emphysema and thoracoscopic spine surgery, phrenic nerve pacemakers MEMS technology, and minimally invasive atrial fibrillation research.
Recognitions and awards: America’s Top Doctors – 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006; Cincinnati Business Courier’s Innovator of the Year – 2006; Patient’s Choice Award – 2011; Most Compassionate Doctor – 2011; 2012 Indianapolis Monthly ”Top Doctor” in cardiothoracic surgery.