David R. Williams
Harry G. Day Chair in Chemistry
Professor Williams is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of organic chemistry. His research is focused on the synthesis of biologically active natural products, and the development of new reaction methodologies. His laboratories have achieved synthesis pathways to 37 complex structures of unique antibiotics, chemotherapeutic antitumor agents, cholesterolemic, immunosuppressive, and anti-inflammatory compounds, and the active principles of many marine organisms, as well as folk medicines.
Professor Williams received his B.S. degree in chemistry from St. Lawrence University, and the Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. He studied as a postdoctoral fellow of the National Cancer Institute with Nobelist Professor E. J. Corey at Harvard University, and subsequently also served as an NIH research fellow at Harvard with Professor R. B. Woodward (Nobel Prize, 1965). He began his independent academic career at Case Western Reserve University and moved to IU in 1980. His research has resulted in over 100 scholarly publications. Nearly 100 graduate students and postdoctoral associates have studied under his mentorship.
Dr. Williams was awarded Phi Beta Kappa honors (1970), Sigma Xi membership (1973), and was subsequently recognized as a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1983-1985). He has previously received an IU Distinguished Teaching Award and the Merck Faculty Development Award (1996). In 1999, he was named a Fellow of the GOHO Foundation (Japan) and was named the recipient of the 2002 Tracy M. Sonneborn Lecturer Award. His classroom contributions have been recognized with an Indiana University Teaching Excellence Award, and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He serves on a number of advisory boards, including the National Institutes of Health Medicinal Chemistry Study Section A and the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Contracts Review Committee. Dr. Williams is a scientific advisor for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society, the International Society for Heterocyclic Chemistry, and the New York Academy of Sciences.