Craig Woodard

Christianna Smith Professor of Biological Sciences; on leave Spring 2022
The control of gene expression and animal development by steroid hormones

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 melanogastar—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 of a human. By studying a model organism like a fruit fly we're learning the rules."

In 1997, Woodard's research won the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which honored the scientist with an Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award. The program aims to enhance academic careers "in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning." Recently Woodard won a three-year grant of $350,000 from the NSF to study tissue-specific gene regulation inDrosophila.

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 the wiry, energetic professor has managed to keep burning in his life as a teacher, researcher, husband, and father of two young boys.

Woodard's findings on Drosophila metamorphosis have been published in Cell, the Journal of Comparative Physiology, andPerspectives in Comparative Endocrinology.

Selected Publications

Recent publications are below. More are available in Woodard's publications archive.

Recent Campus News

This is a Zoom photograph of the Faculty Awards ceremony. Interim Dean of Faculty Dorothy Mosby, Paula Debnar, Leah Glasser, Kate Ballantine, Craig Woodard, and President Sonya Stephens are all on screen.

Awards highlight exceptional faculty

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

Glial cells of a fruit fly brain express green fluorescence protein, as visualized with an integrated laser scanning/spinning disk microscopy system.

MHC receives NSF grant for microscopy

The new advanced microscopy system will bring new research, interdisciplinary collaboration and community outreach opportunities to Mount Holyoke.

Recent Grants

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

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)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Mini-Grant “Seeding commitments to diversity: Disseminating effective retention and mentoring programs” (with Wendy Raymond of Williams College and others)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2004 Undergraduate Science Award (with Sean Decatur) September 2004–August 2008

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 inDrosophila." 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