Richard Wood '77
Richard D. Wood graduated from Westminster in 1977 with a BS in biology and later earned his PhD in biophysics at University of California, Berkeley in 1981. He was later a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University from 1982 to 1985. He is now a molecular biologist specializing in research on DNA repair and mutation. He is known for pioneering studies on nucleotide excision repair (NER), particularly for reconstituting the minimum set of proteins involved in this process, identifying proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) as part of the NER complex and identifying mammalian repair polymerases. He performed much of his work on NER at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, from 1985 to 2001 as postdoctoral fellow, research scientist, senior scientist, and principal scientist. In 1998, Wood received the Meyenburg Cancer Research Prize. In 1999 he was the Royal Society Fellow. From 2001 – 2008, he served as the Richard M. Cyert chair of molecular oncology at the University of Pittsburgh. He currently holds the Grady F. Saunders distinguished professorship in the department of molecular carcinogenesis at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.