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Dr. Andrew W. Woodward

Biology Department
Office: Wells 138
UMHB Mail Box:UMHB Box 8432900 College St, Box 8432BeltonTX76513
Phone: (254) 295-4159(254) 295-4159
Subjects Taught: Biomolecules, Genes, and Cells; Research Methods; Plant Molecular Biology; Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II; Developmental Biology; Freshman Seminar
Degrees Earned: B.A., Biochemistry and Biology (double major), Rice University; Ph.D., Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University

I am a molecular biologist with a particular interest in the molecular genetics of plant development. I love teaching Biology. A lifelong Texan, I grew up on a Central Texas cattle ranch and earned my B.A. and Ph.D. at Rice University in Houston.  As an undergraduate, I double majored in Biology and Biochemistry.  In my graduate work, I investigated the roles of several genes in shaping plant development.

I was fascinated by biology at an early age.  On the ranch, I enjoyed thinking about how energy from the sun was being captured by plants, and this solar energy was passed along to the cattle as they grazed.  It amazes me to think that steak and salad are both built of molecules from the air glued together using energy from the sun.

In high school, I had the opportunity to tutor other students, and I found that I enjoyed teaching. I consider it a privilege to witness the moment when someone first arrives at a new understanding. The moment can arrive in the classroom, the laboratory, the library, or anywhere. The science fiction writer Isaac Asimov is credited with saying that “the most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but rather, ‘Hmm... that's funny...’”

As a Rice undergraduate, I served as a recitation leader for Introductory Biology and as a Biosciences Writing Mentor. I also began working in a plant molecular biology lab. This excellent lab experience reinforced my plan to attend graduate school. After earning my Ph.D., I worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Southwestern University and at St. Edward’s University.  I have taught a wide variety of biology courses, including Molecular Biology, Cellular Physiology, Plant Physiology, Microbiology, Genes & Molecules, Ecology & Evolution, and Cells, Genetics, & Organ Systems. 

Outside of the university, I am an active member of Lexington United Methodist Church.  I have held a number of leadership positions in my church, including service as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for 2010 and 2011, Lay Leader 2013-2018, and Finance Chairperson since the beginning of 2019.  

I enjoy spending time exploring Texas natural areas with my wife and daughters.  I am a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Texas Academy of Science, and The American Society of Plant Biologists.

In addition to working with students in the classroom, I enjoy student research collaborations.  I am always looking for eager students to conduct independent projects investigating basic aspects of development and nutrition.  Students who work with me study mutants and identify the underlying DNA mutations.

I enjoy my work as a venue for talking about science. If you share that interest, please stop by for a conversation.


 Andrew W. Woodward and Bonnie Bartel. Biology in bloom: A primer on the Arabidopsis thaliana model system. (2018) Genetics 208(4): 1337-1349.

Andrew W. Woodward*, Wendell A. Fleming*, Sarah E. Burkhart, Sarah E. Ratzel, Marta Bjornson, and Bonnie Bartel. A viable Arabidopsis pex13 missense allele confers severe peroxisomal defects and decreases PEX5 association with peroxisomes. (2014) Plant Molecular Biology 86(1-2):201-214. *These authors contributed equally to this article.

Sarah E. Ratzel, Matthew J. Lingard, Andrew W. Woodward, and Bonnie Bartel.  Reducing PEX13 expression ameliorates physiological defects of late-acting peroxin mutants.  (2011) Traffic 12(1):121-134.

Doug J. Hinchliffe, William R. Meredith, Kathleen M. Yeater, Hee Jin Kim, Andrew W. Woodward, Z. Jeffrey Chen, and Barbara A. Triplett.  Near-isogenic cotton germplasm lines that differ in fiber-bundle strength have temporal differences in fiber gene expression patterns as revealed by comparative high-throughput profiling.  (2010) Theoretical and Applied Genetics 120(7):1347-1366.

Mingxiong Pang, Andrew W. Woodward, Vikram Agarwal, Xueying Guan, Misook Ha, Vanithrani Ramachandran, Xuemei Chen, Barbara A. Triplett, David M. Stelly, and Z. Jeffrey Chen.  Genome-wide analysis reveals rapid and dynamic changes in miRNA and siRNA sequence and expression during ovule and fiber development in allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). (2009) Genome Biology 10(11):R122.

Jinsuk J. Lee, Andrew W. Woodward, and Z. Jeffrey Chen.  Gene expression changes and early events in cotton fibre development. (2007) Annals of Botany 100(7):1391-1401. (review)

Andrew W. Woodward, Sarah E. Ratzel, Erin E. Woodward, Yousif Shamoo, and Bonnie Bartel.  Mutation of E1-CONJUGATING ENZYME-RELATED1 decreases RELATED TO UBIQUITIN conjugation and alters auxin response and development. (2007) Plant Physiology 144:976-987.

Joshua A. Udall, Lex E. Flagel, Foo Cheung, Andrew W. Woodward, Ran Hovav, Ryan A. Rapp, Jordan M. Swanson, Jinsuk J. Lee, Alan R. Gingle, Dan Nettleton, Christopher D. Town, Z. Jeffrey Chen, and Jonathan F. Wendel.  Spotted cotton oligonucleotide microarrays for gene expression analysis. (2007) BMC Genomics 8:81.

Rebekah A. Rampey*, Andrew W. Woodward*, Brianne Hobbs, and Bonnie Bartel. An Arabidopsis basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper protein modulates metal homeostasis and auxin conjugate responsiveness. (2006) Genetics 174(4):1841-1857.  *These authors contributed equally to this article.

Andrew W. Woodward and Bonnie Bartel. Auxin: Regulation, action, and interaction. (2005) Annals of Botany 95:707-735. (review)

Andrew W. Woodward and Bonnie Bartel. A receptor for auxin. (2005) Plant Cell 17(9):2425-2429. (current perspectives essay)

Andrew W. Woodward and Bonnie Bartel. The Arabidopsis peroxisomal targeting signal type 2 receptor PEX7 is necessary for peroxisome function and dependent on PEX5. (2005) Molecular Biology of the Cell 16:573-583.

Research Interests

I study the roles of particular genes in plant development. Specifically, my students and I investigate the formation and function of peroxisomes, organelles of the cell that are necessary for the breakdown of fats and several other vital functions. In particular, I use mutant plants to study the developmental defects that result from faulty peroxisome function. After isolating and characterizing a mutant, my students and I use a technique called recombination mapping to locate the mutant gene and then sequence DNA to identify the mutation.  For more information about this research, click here.