Science Faculty Spotlight: Ryan Williams
Williams' research is focused on the design of nanotechnologies to understand, diagnose, and treat human disease.
Ryan Williams is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at The City College of New York. He is also a member of the Graduate Center Ph.D. Program in Chemistry and an affiliate of the Nanoscience Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center. Williams joined CUNY in 2019 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Cancer Nanomedicine lab of Dr. Daniel Heller at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There, he was an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow, a Mentored Investigator of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and an American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Postdoctoral Fellow Awardee. He earned his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences from West Virginia University in 2013 and a B.A. in biology from the University of Virginia in 2008.
Research in the Williams Lab for Immune Nanomedicine is focused on the design of nanotechnologies to understand, diagnose, and treat human disease. Specific projects members of the lab focus on include injectable nanosensor development for chronic inflammatory disease, fluorescent nanosensor development for breast cancer diagnostics, and therapeutic gene delivery for chronic kidney disease. The lab is supported by a National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Early Stage Investigator Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award, a Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), an ASRC Seed Grant, and CCNY-MSK Partnership grants.
The lab takes a highly interdisciplinary approach to nanotechnology development and application. Lab members use fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) for sensor development, as well as polymeric hydrogels and nanoparticles. The Williams Lab evaluates nanomedicine development using patient biospecimens, mouse and rat models of disease, and cellular assays. Techniques used in the lab cross boundaries from supramolecular and analytical chemistry to molecular biology and materials science/engineering. As such, the lab relies heavily on a diverse array of backgrounds and collaborators, including chemists, engineers, biologists, and clinicians across multiple disciplines. These approaches lead the lab to aspire toward bench-to-bedside nanomedicine development for clinical use.