Personal profile


Emeritus Director and Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Professor, Department of Molecular and Translational Science, Monash University

A distinguished researcher and international authority on innate immunity and cancer biology, Professor Bryan Williams has made major contributions to our understanding of the antiviral mechanisms of actions of interferons, advancing their therapeutic utility. His discoveries in the 2-5A-RNaseL pathway, cloning and characterisation of protein kinase R, and innate immune signalling pathways have opened new therapeutic opportunities.

Professor Williams received his PhD from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, he held faculty positions at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. He was Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA, from 1991 until joining the Monash Institute of Medical Research as Director in 2006 (now Hudson Institute of Medical Research). He served as Hudson Institute Director and CEO until July 2017.

As the 1990 recipient of the prestigious Milstein Award, the International Society for Interferon Research recognised Professor Williams for his contributions to advancing interferon research for the treatment of human diseases. Elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1997, Professor Williams served as President of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research from 1998 to 1999. In 2005, he shared the Maurice Saltzman Award from the Mt Sinai Health Care Foundation, for his leadership contribution to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and in 2006 received the Dolph Adams Award for the most highly cited review article published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. In 2008, he received the Boltzmann Award for international research collaboration, awarded by the European Cytokine Society. In 2013, he was elected as a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Professor Williams is Chair of the Board of BioGrid Australia Ltd, and serves on the Boards of Pacific Edge Ltd, Pacific Edge Pty Ltd, Pacific Edge Diagnostics Singapore Pte Ltd, XYnapse Therapeutics Pty Ltd and Cartherics Pty Ltd. He is Chair of the Biopharmaceuticals, Biomaterials and Medical Devices Advisory Committee for Therapeutic Innovation Australia, and is a Member of the Board of Trustees and a Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research (Newport, RI, USA). He is also a Member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of BioGrid Australia Ltd and Pacific Edge Ltd, a Member of the Scientific Review Panel for the Malaghan Institute (New Zealand), a Member of the International Science Advisory Panel for Healthier Lives (New Zealand) and a Scientific Advisor to EnGeneIC Ltd. He is currently Chair of the Award Committee for the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS) and is a Member of the ICIS Nomination Committee. He is also a Member of the Gottschalk Medal Awards Committee for the Australian Academy of Science, and a Member of the Steering Committee of the Australian Living Organoid Alliance (ALOA).

Professor Williams is an Editor for the Journal of Virology, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Viral Immunology, Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews and Frontiers in Cancer Genetics, and is a Faculty Member of F1000Prime.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Director and CEO, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Research area keywords

  • Cancer Cell Biology
  • Innate Immunity
  • RNA Interference
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Regulation

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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