UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Nathan Woodling

Dr Nathan Woodling

Research Fellow

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Jul 2013

Research summary

I am a biologist with a long-standing interest in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence from my work and other groups suggests that, among brain cell types, it is glial cells (the non-neuronal cells of the nervous system) that contribute most to ageing in species ranging from humans to fruit flies. I primarily use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, whose neurons and glial cells closely parallel those of humans in their forms and functions, as a simple system to study the role of different nervous system cell types in ageing and models of Alzheimer's disease-associated toxicity.

Teaching summary

SMB Lecturer: For Terms 1 and 2 of 2020-21, I was seconded part-time as a Lecturer (Education) in the department of Structural and Molecular Biology, where I led laboratory and face-to-face enrichment sessions for undergraduate Biochemistry modules.

Medical School SSC 274: Along with Dr Teresa Niccoli, I lead a yearly seminar course for medical students, with both lecture-based and laboratory-based sessions focused on ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

BIOL0022: I have given lectures for Biology of Ageing at UCL, as well as yearly lectures on neurodegenerative diseases for the Biology of Ageing course at the University of Kent.

Project Supervision: I regularly supervise Masters, iBSc, and undergraduate students from a variety of programmes.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow | 2017
Stanford University
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2013
Emory University
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2005


Nathan Woodling received his B.S. degree with highest honours in Biology and Neuroscience from Emory University, where he was awarded a Robert T Jones Scholarship to study at the University of St Andrews after his undergraduate degree. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. from Stanford University, where his work focused on the roles played by microglia in mouse and cell culture models of Alzheimer’s disease. He moved to London to take on post-doctoral training under the supervision of Professor Dame Linda Partridge, where his work uncovered a role for glial cells, and particularly astrocytes, in modulating healthy lifespan and ageing. In 2019, he was awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Junior Fellowship to investigate the interaction between neurons and astrocytes both in the ageing process itself and in age-associated susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease.