Tom Williams


Professor Tom Williams is Professor of Haemoglobinopathy Research within the Department of Medicine at Imperial College, London and holds honorary consultant positions in paediatric infectious diseases at St Mary's Hospital, London and Kilifi District Hospital in Kenya. He trained in medicine and paediatrics in London then in epidemiology, cell and molecular biology in London and Oxford, UK. He has over 25 years of experience as both a medical doctor and clinical scientist and holds a PhD from the University of London.

Tom's interest in red cell genetic disorders dates from his clinical work in paediatric sickle cell disease and beta thalassaemia under Beatrix Wonke in London during the 1980s and 1990s, and from his first research project under Sir David Weatherall on the alpha thalassaemia which he conducted in Vanuatu in the South Pacific between 1991 and 1994. He has worked at the Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya since May 2000 where he now heads a group of over 50 that includes five PhD students and six laboratory scientists.

Tom has published extensively on the burden and clinical consequences of red cell genetic disorders and their relationship with malaria, which he approaches through studies both in the field and in the laboratory. His work on sickle cell disease includes its distribution and burden as well as its clinical complications with an emphasis on infectious diseases. He is a core member of the Haemoglobinopathies Expert Group of the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2013 and is co-chair of the Infectious Diseases Working Group of the Global Sickle Cell Disease Network

Tom's current research funding includes a Senior Fellowship and other grants from the Wellcome Trust, MRC UK, and the European Union.