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Alison Woollard


Alison is an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Oxford where she leads a research team working on the genetics of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Her current work concerns molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination and morphogenesis during C. elegans development, as well as research on mechanisms of biological ageing.

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 JBS Haldane award to recognize her public engagement activities, serves as Vice President of the Genetics Society with a special responsibility for public understanding of genetics and is Oxford University’s academic champion for public engagement with research. Her BBC Radio 4 “Life Scientific” was broadcast in spring 2017.