David R. Williams is the Harry G. Day Chair in Chemistry at Indiana University Bloomington. Upon completion of his B.S. degree (St. Lawrence University, 1970), he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate studies under the mentorship of Professor George Büchi (Ph.D. 1976). Dr. Williams was awarded a National Institutes of Health fellowship for postdoctoral training at Harvard University with Professor E. J. Corey (Nobel laureate), and subsequently with Professor R. B. Woodward (Nobel laureate). He accepted a position as assistant professor at Indiana University in 1980 and was promoted to the rank of professor in 1987.
Dr. Williams's research interests lie in the development of synthesis methodology for efficient strategies to advance molecular complexity. The Williams laboratories have made significant applications of these broadly adopted strategies with elegant applications toward biologically active natural products.
Dr. Williams has been recognized for his teaching and research as a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Edward Leete Award of the American Chemical Society (2005), and the ACS Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2018). At IU, he has received the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award (2002), the Distinguished Faculty Research Lecturer Award (2007�"08), the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (2000), and the Trustees Teaching Award (2014). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
Williams has authored 170 publications, and more than 140 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers have completed advanced studies in his labs.
Williams received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2020 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to Indiana University.