Professor Paul Bolwell, Emeritus Professor of Plant Biochemistry

Posted on 17/04/2012

Paul received the award of Doctor of Science (DSc) from the University of Oxford in March

I am sorry to inform you that Professor Paul Bolwell, Emeritus Professor of Plant Biochemistry, passed away on April 13th, after a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Paul was appointed as a lecturer in Plant Biochemistry in 1989 and promoted to professor in 1998, although his first association with the College was as a postdoctoral research assistant in 1986. He retired in December 2011. Paul was a researcher of international renown and lead editor of the prestigious journal Phytochemistry since 2004. His first ever paper was published in Nature – not a bad way to start a scientific career!

Recently, Paul received the award of Doctor of Science (DSc) from the University of Oxford, for his outstanding, original contributions to plant science over the past 30 years. His research has significantly advanced our knowledge in four main areas of plant sciences: the biosynthesis and structure of the plant cell wall; engineering the structure of the plant cell wall; plant pathogenesis and defensive responses associated with pathogen attack and natural antioxidants. His work has been cited more than 6,000 times. He may not have been the most neat and tidy laboratory worker, but his ideas were second to none. Despite the debilitating effects of MND, Paul was able to attend the ceremony, with his family and close friends, and received the award personally on the 3rd of March 2012.

We will remember Paul as a great colleague and gentleman, who contributed much to teaching and research in the School. He taught on and coordinated a number of courses in biochemistry, reflecting his broad and deep knowledge of the subject, while at the same time maintaining a large portfolio of research grants. He loved life, rugby, Wales, music, as well as beer! We will all miss him very much.


Alan Gange

School of Biological Sciences


Please note:  Paul's funeral will be held at St Paul's Church, Newbridge, Gwent at 1pm on Friday 27th April followed by burial at Abercarn Cemetery.

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