Alison Woollard

Alison Woollard, Christmas Lecturer 2013, elected trustee since April 2018.

Alison Woollard in a blue drop, standing in front of images of bugs and butterflies
Credit: Paul Wilkinson

Alison Woollard is an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department at Oxford University where she leads a research team working on the developmental genetics of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans).

Alison's current work concerns molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination and morphogenesis during C. elegans development, trying to unpick the complex mechanisms by which cells become different from one another as an organism develops from egg to adult. She also has a developing interest in the biology of ageing, with an emphasis on the contribution of chromatin regulators and the WRN homologue wrn-1 to lifespan and healthspan regulation.

Alison is also very committed to public engagement, believing that science must be more strongly embedded in society as an important cultural ambition, as well as a crucial driver of economic competitiveness, improved healthcare and sensible public and governmental policy. She presented the 2013 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures series Life Fantastic, broadcast on BBC4, and since then has taken part in a diverse range of public engagement activities, from pop festivals to stand-up comedy.

Alison was awarded the 2015 Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lectureship to recognise her public engagement activities and was recently elected Vice President of the Genetics Society with a special responsibility for public understanding of genetics. Her BBC Radio 4 Life Scientific was broadcast in spring 2017.

This page was last updated on 2 February 2022.