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Published in CenterView on June 17, 2013

In Memoriam: Dr. William L. Woolverton

Dr. William L. Woolverton, an internationally known behavioral science and drug-abuse researcher and mentor to dozens of medical residents and scientists-in-training, died June 13 at UMMC. He was 62.


Woolverton joined the UMMC faculty in 1993 as professor of psychiatry and human behavior in the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. In 2010 UMMC leaders named him a Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor.

In his research Woolverton aimed to improve the understanding of interactions between pharmacological, environmental, and neurochemical variables that control drug abuse.

Throughout his productive career he authored and co-authored more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters.

He served as vice chair of research in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, led the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience’s behavioral core and was instrumental in starting UMMC’s Program in Neuroscience.

Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Woolverton earned his bachelor’s in biology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., received a Ph.D. in pharmacological and physiological sciences from the University of Chicago in 1977, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Medical College of Virginia in 1980.

He is survived by his wife, Candy, and two children, Chris and Lucy.