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Alison Fisher

Professor of Chemistry
Specialty: Biochemistry

Headshot of Alison Fisher

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Collins Science Center 302
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


  • PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • BS, Western Michigan University

Professional Interests

I'm an environmental biochemist interested in the production of volatile organic compounds by plants. My lab uses a wide range of experimental techniques (RT-qPCR, classic protein chemistry, gas chromatography, cDNA cloning techniques, and, most recently, confocal microscopy) to understand the biosynthesis, regulation, and biological roles of some of the abundant volatile organic compounds produced by plants. Current projects include (1) the role of the volatile plant hormone ethylene (ethene) in regulating the timing of flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) and Ipomoea nil 'Violet' (Japanese morning glory) plants, and (2) biosynthesis of isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) in Campylopus introflexus (heath star moss).

Personal Interests

Biking, skiing, sustainable living, baking, science outreach, and being a mom to two amazing kiddos



Lantz, A. T., Cardiello, J. F., Gee, T. A., Richards, M. G., Rosenstiel, T. N. and Fisher, A. J. (2015) Biochemical characterization of an isoprene synthase from Campylopus introflexus (heath star moss). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 94:209-215. DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2015.06.008.

Eickelberg, G. J. and Fisher, A. J. (2013) Environmental regulation of plant gene expression: An RT-qPCR laboratory project for an upper-level undergraduate biochemistry or molecular biology course. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 41, 325-333.

Waterhouse, H. B. and Fisher, A. J. (2006) The role of ethylene in photoperiodic control of flowering in Pharbitis nil 'Violet (Japanese morning glory). J. Undergrad. Chem. Res. 2006, 121-125.

Fisher, A. J., Grimes, H. D., and Fall, R. (2003) The biochemical origin of pentenol emissions from wounded leaves. Phytochemistry 62, 159-163

Rosenstiel, T. N., Fisher, A. J., Fall, R., and Monson, R. K. (2002) Differential accumulation of dimethylallyl diphosphate in leaves and needles of isoprene- and methylbutenol-emitting and nonemitting species. Plant Physiology 129(3) 1276-1284.

Fisher, A. J., Rosenstiel, T. N., Shirk, M. C., and Fall, R. (2001) Non-radioactive assay for cellular dimethylallyl diphoshpate. Analytical Biochemistry292, 272-279.

Fisher, A. J., Baker, B.M., Greenberg, J. P., and Fall, R. (2000) Enzymatic synthesis of methylbutenol from dimethylallyl diphosphate in needles of Pinus sabiniana. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 383, 128-134.

*Holmes (Fisher) A. J., and Vanderwielen, A. J. (1997) Total organic carbon method for aspiring cleaning validation. PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology 51, 149-152.

Willamette University

Department of Chemistry

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6013 voice
503-375-5425 fax