Robert M. Williams, Ph.D.

University Distinguished Professor

University Distinguished Professor

Colorado State University




Professional Biography

Robert M. Williams was born in New York in 1953. He attended Syracuse University and received a B.A. degree in Chemistry in 1975. While at Syracuse, he did undergraduate research with Nobel Laureate Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi.

He entered the Ph.D. program at MIT and earned his Ph.D. degree in 1979 under the supervision of Prof. William H. Rastetter. His doctoral studies were concerned with the total synthesis of two fungal metabolites, gliovictin and hyalodendrin.

Dr. Williams joined the laboratories of the late Nobel Laureate Prof. R.B. Woodward at Harvard in 1979, whose postdoctoral group was subsequently managed by Professor Yoshito Kishi. There he worked on the completion of the total synthesis of erythromycin A.

After completing his postdoctoral tenure at Harvard, he joined the faculty at Colorado State University in 1980. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1985 and Full Professor in 1988. Dr. Williams has since received several Honors and Awards, and was honored with the title of University Distinguished Professor in 2002 and the American Chemical Society Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products in 2011.

Dr. Williams’ research focuses on the interplay of synthetic organic chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. His research interests have included the total synthesis of natural products, studies on drug-DNA interactions, design and synthesis of antibiotics and DNA-cleaving molecules, combinatorial phage libraries and biosynthetic pathways. He has utilized natural products synthesis to probe and explore biomechanistic and biosynthetic problems with a particular emphasis on antitumor and antimicrobial antibiotics. He has developed technology for the asymmetric synthesis of a-amino acids which has been commercialized by Aldrich Chemical Co. and has written a monograph on this subject.

Honors and Awards:

ACS Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2011)

Organic Synthesis Award, Local Rocky Mountain ACS Section, Reaching New Heights (2012)

Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Long-term Fellowship (2013)

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Senior Award (2009-2011)

University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University (2002)

Arthur C. CopeScholar Award, American Chemical Society (2002)

Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship (1999)

Merck & Co. Academic Development Award (1991-93)

Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1986-88)

Eli Lilly Young Investigator Grantee (1986-88)

NIH Research Career Development Awardee (1984-89)

Phi Beta Kappa, Syracuse University (1975)

Kanner Prize for Chemistry and Physics, Syracuse University (1974)

Prof. Williams is currently serving

as Director for the Colorado

Center for Drug Discovery (C2D2)

Dr. Williams has extensive experience as an expert witness in patent litigation and he has testified at Federal trial three times (more information is available on page 3 of his CV - see link above).

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