Craig Woodard


  • Christianna Smith Professor of Biological Sciences
Craig Woodward

Dubbed the "Fly Room," Craig Woodard's laboratory is nearly always buzzing with activity. It's here that Woodard and his students breed the common fruit fly—Drosophila melanogaster—to study how steroid hormones affect animal development, analyzing genes that act to turn a fruit fly from a larva into an adult insect.

Says Woodard, "From what we learn we can make inferences about how genes are controlling the development and health of a human. By studying a model organism like a fruit fly we're learning the rules."

Woodard's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the George I. Alden Trust.

The company of flies hasn't dampened Woodard's interest in other pursuits. When he isn't dissecting maggots, lecturing, or supervising his research assistants, Woodard might be found plunging down a mountain bike trail somewhere in the Holyoke Range. It's one of the passions he has managed to keep burning in his life as a teacher, researcher, husband, and father of two sons.

Woodard's findings on Drosophila metamorphosis have been published in journals such as Cell, Developmental Biology, and Developmental Dynamics.

Areas of Expertise

The control of gene expression and animal development by steroid hormones


  • Ph.D., M.Phil., M.S., Yale University
  • B.S., Bates College

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

For the first time in its history, Mount Holyoke College has been selected as a Beckman Scholars Program awardee by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The foundation chose the College after a rigorous application process.

The recipients of the coveted Mount Holyoke College Faculty Awards were celebrated at a Zoom ceremony replete with warmth and kindness.

Biologist Koty Sharp ’98 employs metagenomics to reveal intricate relationships between interdependent organisms at sea.

Recent Grants

NSF MRI Grant, “Acquisition of integrated laser scanning/spinning disk confocal microscopy system to advance multidisciplinary research and training at Mount Holyoke College” (co-PI with Ken Colodner, Kyle Broaders, Kerstin Nordstrom, and Jared Schwartzer), September 2018 - August 2021

Craig Woodard received a National Science Foundation (NSF) DBI Grant, "UBM-Institutional: Collaborative Research: Four College Biomath Consortium," with Amherst, Smith and Hampshire Colleges. (Mount Holyoke co-PI: Martha Hoopes), September 1, 2011-August 31, 2016.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2008 Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Grant (with Janice Hudgings) September 2008 - August 2012

Craig Woodard received a grant from the George I. Alden Trust Grant “Microscopy Equipment for Introductory and Intermediate Science Labs” (PI--working with several other faculty) March 2008 - February 2009

NSF MRI Grant, “Acquisition of Genomics Instrumentation at Mount Holyoke College” (Co-Author with PIs: Sarah Bacon, Amy Frary, Lilian Hsu, Megan Nunez and Sharon Stranford)

Recent Publications

Charney, N., Kubel, J.E., Woodard, C.T., Carbajal González, B.I., Avis, S. [MHC ’19], Blyth, J., Eiseman, C.S., Castorino, J., Malone, J.H. (2019). Survival of Polyploid Hybrid Salamander Embryos. BMC Developmental Biology, 19, 21. doi:10.1186/s12861-019-0202-z

Packard, B. W., Marciano, V., Payne, J.M., Bledzki, L. A., Woodard, C.T. (2014). Negotiating Peer Mentoring Roles in Undergraduate Research Lab Settings. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2014.983327

Bond, N., Nelliot, A., Bernardo, M.K., **Gorski, K., **Ayerh, M., Hoshizaki, D.K. and Woodard, C.T. (2011). "ßFTZ-F1 and Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 are Required for Fat-Body Remodeling in Drosophila." Developmental Biology. 360: 286-296. doi:10:1016/j.ydbio.2011.09.015
**Undergraduate author

Kim, C., Srivastava, S., Rice, M., Godenschwege, T.A., Bentley, B., **Shao. S., **Ravi, S., Woodard, C.T.,  and Schwartz, L.M. (2011). "Expression of Human Amyloid Precursor Protein in the Skeletal Muscles of Drosophila Results in Age- and Activity-Dependent Muscle Weakness." BMC Physiology. 11:7. doi:10.1186/1472-6793-11-7
**Undergraduate author

Maloney, M., Parker, J., LeBlanc, M., Woodard, C.T., Glackin, M., and Hanrahan, M. (2010). "Bioinformatics and the Undergraduate Curriculum." CBE Life Sciences Education 9: 172-174

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