The LipidWeb blank

Dr. William Walker Christie

M.B.E., D.Sc., Ph.D., B.Sc., F.R.S.E., F.A.O.C.S.

Bill Christie is a graduate of the Chemistry Department of the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he also obtained his Ph.D., under the supervision of the eminent lipid chemist Frank Gunstone. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship under the distinguished biochemist Ralph Holman at the Hormel Institute in Austin, Minnesota, USA. He is probably best known for his work on developing novel analytical methodology for lipids, and his books are the standard texts on the subject.

After many years in senior positions at the Hannah Research Institute in Ayr, Dr Christie was appointed Head of the Chemistry Department at The Scottish Crop Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute) in Dundee, Scotland. On 'retirement' in 1999, he became a consultant to Mylnefield Lipid Analysis (part of the commercial arm of the Institute), of which he was a co-founder, and he still serves in this capacity.

Bill Christie in his office

He originated and maintained the Lipid Library website entirely as a spare time activity before gifting it to AOCS in 2009. With the transfer of ownership, he was first appointed Editor-in-Chief, but in 2012 he relinquished this post while remaining active on the site. Frustrated by the bureaucratic attitudes at AOCS, he set up this website in 2014 to demonstrate what should be possible in terms of presentation and the provision of fresh content.

He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list in 2000, and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the same year. In addition, Dr Christie has received awards for presentation of 'outstanding' papers at meetings of the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), and in 1995 received the Herbert J. Dutton Award of the AOCS 'in recognition of his contribution to analytical methodology in relation to oils, fats and lipids'. He received the Alton E. Bailey Award of the AOCS in 2004 'for exceptional service in the field of lipids and associated products'. In 2010, in the footsteps of his mentors Frank Gunstone and Ralph Holman, he received the prestigious Supelco/Nicholas Pelick Research Award of the AOCS, and in 2011 he was appointed an AOCS Fellow, followed by the formal designation FAOCS in 2015. In addition to his role with this web site, he is currently a member of the editorial advisory boards of several journals and was the founder of the Oily Press Ltd (now owned by Elsevier).

In 1967, he met Norma Leighton - a secretary at the University of St Andrews - and in 1968 they were married (and still are). They had two sons, Paul and Matthew, and now have four grandchildren - Heather, Daniel, Robert and Amber.

Selected Publications

A full publication list contains details of approximately 360 items, but only a few of the more important books are listed below. The first major item is a book, "Lipid Analysis" (Pergamon Press), published first in 1973, before it was extensively rewritten and a second edition published in 1982, followed by a third in 2003 and a fourth written jointly with Xianlin Han in 2010. More than 8000 copies of the first various editions have been sold and it is the standard work in its field. A further book on "High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Lipids" was published in 1987 and a companion volume on "Gas Chromatography and Lipids" appeared in 1989 (from The Oily Press).

Scottish thistle

Formerly of the MRS Lipid Analysis Unit, James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee (DD2 5DA), Scotland.


Updated: January 31st, 2018