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Dr Andrew Williams
Royal Free Campus
Rowland Hill Street
London
UK
NW3 2PF
Dr Andrew Williams profile picture
Appointment
  • Associate Professor (Teaching)
  • Department of Education
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Biography

I was awarded my PhD in Immunology from the University of London in 2001. Since then I gained postdoctoral experience at Imperial College London, the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) and King's College London. Now at the world-renowned Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair at University College London (UCL), my research focuses on acute lung inflammation and neutrophil biology.

I have published many scientific articles in leading, peer reviewed journals, such as JACI, Thorax, Journal of Immunology and many more, and presented work at both national and international conferences. I routinely peer review manuscripts for  leading journals, and review major grants for MRC, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, the Health Research Board (Ireland) and the Helmholtz Association (Germany).

In addition, I am a dedicated educator at undergraduate and postgraduate levels within the the world leading Division of Medicine. I am Head of the Centre for Undergraduate Education and Deputy Director for BSc Applied Medical Sciences. I teach on and lead courses for BSc and MSc programmes in immunology, molecular medicine and cell biology.

Research Summary

My research explores role that neutrophils play in the pathogenesis of inflammatory lung disease, with particular emphasis on chemokine networks and the regulation of inflammation. A better understanding of neutrophil biology and inflammation in the lung will allow the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. Inflammation and neutrophil recruitment ares a key components of many lung diseases including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diseases caused by pathogenic viruses and bacteria such as influenza virus (flu) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia).

 A key area of my research focuses on how complex chemokine networks influence the accumulation of neutrophils at sites of inflammation. These chemokine networks are often contextual, meaning that certain chemokines influence the migration of different leukocytes depending on the associated milieu . I am particularly interested in neutrophil migration into the lung, which is dependent on the classic chemoattractant CXCL8 (IL-8) and the non-conventional neutrophil chemoattractants CCL2 and CCL7.

Several inflammatory mediators are expressed in the lung during inflammation. However, how these factors regulate neutrophil effector functions is still poorly understood in the context of acute lung inflammation. Although it is understood that some of these factors regulate neutrophil migration, their effects on neutrophil degranulation, neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), phagocytosis and cytokine release are poorly understood. 

Teaching Summary

I am module lead for MSc/MRes in Human Tissue Repair at UCL, for Principles of Immunology and Immunological Basis of Disease and module lead for BSc Applied Medical Sciences for Techniques in Molecular Medicine (2nd year). I lecture on various aspects of basic immunology, applied immunology, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology to students on BSc and MSc degree courses. This involves curriculum design, creating online material (Moodle), face-to-face lecturing, flipped-classroom teaching, innovative tutorials, small group sessions and undertaking various aspects of student assessment and feedback. I have extensively supervised PhD, BSc, MRes, MSc and medical students in the laboratory and have been a formal PhD student supervisor.

Head of Centre for Undergraduate Education (Division of Medicine, Faulty of Medical Sciences)

Deputy Director (Assessment and Feedback): BSc/MSci Applied Medical Sciences

Module Lead: Techniques in Molecular Medicine (MEDC0011) BSc Applied Medical Science

Module Lead: Principles of Immunology (MEDC0045) MSc/MRes Human Tissue Repair

Module Lead: Immunological Basis of Disease (MEDC0068) MSc/MRes Human Tissue Repair

Text book: Immunology: mucosal and body surface defences 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781119998648

Academic Background
2019   ATQ04 - Recognised by the HEA as a Senior Fellow University College London
2017   ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow University College London
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