Profile of a Pathology Faculty Member

Other Appointments/Positions

Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Emory University

Director, Clinical Immunology Laboratory, Emory University Hospital

Co-Director, Image Analysis Core, Emory Digestive Disease Research and Development Center

Graduate Student Recruiter, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program, Emory University


B.S.   Davidson College, - 1980
Ph.D.   Emory University School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Thesis Advisor: Dr. Linda L. Perry, - 1985
M.D.   Emory University School of Medicine, - 1986

Research Interests:

- Mucosal Immunology; Chemokine Receptors; Lymphoid Organogenesis The major areas my laboratory studies are: (1) the role of chemokines and chemokine receptors including CCR6, CCR9, and CCR10 in mucosal immunity; and (2) the cellular interactions, cytokines, and chemokines involved in initiating the development of the lymphoid aggregates present in the small intestine including cryptopatches and isolated lymphoid follicles.

Clinical Focus:

The Clinical Immunology Laboratory at Emory University Hospital performs a variety of immunology tests including protein electrophoresis and immunofixation, immunoglobulin and serum protein quantitation by nephelometry, cryoglobulin testing, miscellaneous protein testing, autoantibody detection, infectious disease serology testing, and measurement of a variety of analytes on automated immunoassay platforms. The laboratory also plays a major role in serological testing of samples from tissue and organ donors. A medical technician from the laboratory is on call at all times to perform stat infectious disease serology testing on samples from organ donors prior to transplantation. The immunology laboratory also supports specific types of surgery that require intraoperative immunoassays down with a short turn around time (most commonly this is testing for parathyroid hormone or PTH in patients with hyperparathyroidism).

In addition to my administrative role in the laboratory, I also do the physician interpretations of protein electrophoresis and immunofixation testing. Interpretation of protein electrophoresis and immunofixation tests as well as some autoantibody testing (primarily anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody or ANCA testing) is done with the assistance of CP residents who rotate for one month on the clinical immunology service. Drs. Charlie Hill and Alexis Carter also take turns signing out these cases that need physician interpretations. Serum protein electrophoresis and immunofixation are performed to detect the presence of monoclonal immunoglobulin species (also known as paraproteins) in patients with plasma cell dyscrasias including multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. Other diseases associated with paraproteins are Waldenstroms macroglobulinemia and some types of B cell lymphoma. Patients with monoclonal gammopathies are monitored during their therapy using the paraprotein levels as an index of residual tumor burden. CSF protein electrophoresis is used to detect oligoclonal IgG bands associated with multiple sclerosis and other immunologically-mediated demyelinating diseases. The Emory immunology laboratory has recently introduced a more sensitive isoelectric focusing method for the detection of oligoclonal IgG bands.

Honors / Awards:

  • Janet and Elvin Price Award, Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America, 2002-2004
  • Poster of Distinction Award, 2001 Digestive Disease Week, 2001
  • Travel Award to Ninth Immunology Congress, American, 1995
  • Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award, 1994-1997
  • Thomas B. Fitzpatrick Research Award, Kao Corporation, 1994
  • Fellow, College of American Pathologists, 1991-present
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Emory University School of Medicine, 1986
  • Cum Laude Graduate, Emory University School of Medicine, 1986
  • Magna Cum Laude Graduate, Davidson College, 1980
  • Election to Phi Beta Kappa, Davidson College, 1980
  • National Merit Scholar, 1976

Specialty Boards:

  •  American Board of Pathology Certification in Anatomic Pathology (9/28/89)

Selected/Most Recent Publications:

Click here to view all publications

Published and Accepted Research Articles -

  • Wang J, Dong Y, Sun JZ, Taylor RT, Guo C, Alegre ML, Williams IR, Newell KA. 2006. Donor lymphoid organs are a major site of alloreactive T cell priming following intestinal transplantation. Am. J. Transplant., 2006 Sep 4; Epub ahead of print, PMID: 16952298.
  • Williams IR. 2006. CCR6 and CCL20: partners in intestinal immunity and lymphorganogenesis. Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 1072:52-61.
  • Schnell FJ, Zoller AL, Patel S, Williams IR, Kersh GJ. 2006. Early growth response gene 1 provides negative feedback to inhibit entry of progenitor cells into the thymus. J. Immunol., 176:4740-4747.
  • Talsma SS, Babensee JE, Murthy N, Williams IR. 2006. Development and in vitro validation of a targeted delivery vehicle for DNA vaccines. J. Control. Release, 112:271-279, 2006.
  • Salazar-Gonzalez RM, Niess JH, Zammit DJ, Ravindran R, Srinivasan A, Maxwell JR, Stoklasek T, Yadav R, Williams IR, Gu X, McCormick BA, Pazos MA, Vella AT, Lefrancois L, Reinecker HC, McSorley, SJ. 2006. CCR6-mediated dendritic cell activation of pathogen-specific T cells in Peyer's patches. Immunity, 24:623-632.
  • Stover EH, Chen J, Folens C, Lee BH, Mentens N, Marynen P, Williams IR, Gilliland DG, Cools J. 2006 Activation of FIP1L1-PDGFR¿ requires disruption of the juxtamembrane domain of PDGFR and is FIL1L1 independent. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103:8078-8083.
  • Chan IT, Kutok JL, Williams IR, Cohen S, Moore S, Shigematsu H, Ley TJ, Akashi K, LeBeau MM, Gilliland DG. 2006 Oncogenic K-ras cooperates with PML-RAR¿ to induce an acute promyelocytic leukemia-like disease. Blood, 108:1708-1715.
  • Sanders CJ, Yu Y, Moore DA III, Williams IR, Gewirtz AT. 2006. Humoral immune response to flagellin requires T-cells and activation of innate immunity. J. Immunol., 177:2810-2818.
  • Taylor RT, Williams IR. 2005. Lymphoid organogenesis in the intestine. Immunol. Res., 33:167-181.
  • Chen J, Lee BH, Williams IR, Kutok JL, Mitsiades CS, Duclos N, Cohen S, Adelsperger J, Okabe R, Coburn A, Moore S, Huntly BJ, Fabbro D, Anderson KC, Griffin JD, Gilliland DG. 2005. FGFR3 as a therapeutic target of the small molecule inhibitor PKC412 in hematopoietic malignancies. Oncogene, 24:8259-8267.
  • Lee BH, Williams IR, Anastasiadou E, Boulton CL, Wojiski S, Amaral SM, Curley DP, Duclos N, Huntly B, Fabbro D, Griffin JD, Gilliland DG. 2005. FLT3 internal tandem duplication mutations induce myeloproliferative or lymphoid disease in a transgenic mouse model that responds to the FLT3 inhibitor PKC412. Oncogene, 24:7882-7892.
  • Growney JD, Shigematsu H, Li Z, Lee BH, Adelsperger J, Rowan R, Curley DP, Akashi K, Williams IR, Speck N, Gilliland DG. 2005. Loss of Runx1 perturbs adult hematopoiesis and is associated with a myeloproliferative phenotype. Blood, 106:494-504.
  • Chen J, Williams IR, Lee BH, Duclos N, Huntly BJP, Donoghue DJ, Gilliland DG. 2005. Constitutively activated FGFR3 mutants signal through PLC¿-dependent and -independent pathways for hematopoietic transformation. Blood, 106:328-337.
  • L¿gering A, Floer M, Maaser C, Spahn TW, Schmidt MA, Domschke W, Williams IR, Kucharzik T. 2005. CCR6 is mandatory for CD4+ regulatory T cell development and M cell formation inside Peyers patches. Am. J. Pathol., 166:1647-1654.
  • Klapproth JA, Sasaki M, Sherman M, Babbin B, Donnenberg MS, Fernandes PJ, Scaletsky ICA, Kalman D, Nusrat A, Williams IR. 2005. C. rodentium lifA/efa1 is essential for colonic colonization and crypt cell hyperplasia in vivo. Infect. Immun., 73:1441-1451.

Book Chapters -

  • Williams IR, Rich BE, Kupper TS. 2003. Chapter 26: Cytokines. In Dermatology in General Medicine, Eds. IM Freedberg, AZ Eisen, K Wolff, KF Austen, LA Goldsmith, and SI Katz. 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill Co., New York.
  • Williams IR, Rich BE, Kupper TS. 1999. Chapter 30: Cytokines and chemokines. In Dermatology in General Medicine, Ed. TB Fitzpatrick, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill Co., New York.
  • Williams IR. 1998. Fibroblasts. In Encyclopedia of Immunology, 2nd Edition, Eds. PJ Delves and IM Roitt, Academic Press, London.