FACULTY & Staff
Steven A. Williams
Gates Professor of Biology & Biochemistry
|Send E–mail||Office: Ford Hall 113||Phone: 585–3826|
Steven A. Williams earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.
My laboratory focuses on research designed to elucidate the molecular biology of the parasites that cause elephantiasis and African river blindness. Most of our research relates in one way or another to the goal of eliminating these diseases that afflict 200 million people worldwide. We also study animal parasites that infect endangered wildlife.
The following areas of research are actively ongoing in my laboratory:
- Projects that use the tools of genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and immunoinformatics to elucidate the biology of these parasites.
- Projects that use genomic, proteomic and immunological information to identify and study vaccine candidates, drug targets and diagnostic molecules to help combat these parasites.
- Projects to develop extremely sensitive DNA-based assays for screening human and mosquito populations for the presence of these parasites (work to aid the Global Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis).
- Field-based projects to apply our DNA-based monitoring assays wherever they are needed. Recently, we have used our tests in French Polynesia, Haiti, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Togo, Vanuatu and others.
- Metagenomics projects to study the microbiome of animals and humans following treatment with anti-parasitic drugs.
- Discovery of plant-based anti-parasitic compounds in collaboration with chemists.
- Microscopy-based studies using transmission, scanning and confocal microscopy to elucidate biological questions regarding filarial parasites and to identify surface-based or secreted vaccine candidates.
- Projects to study the novel ways that these parasites organize and regulate their genes, including the study of gene regulation and promoters used during the development of these parasites.
- Field-based projects to study the filarial parasites of endangered species such as the black-footed ferret and the Florida scrub jay in the U.S. and the cheetah and the striped hyena in Africa.
References (papers published since 2007; **indicates a current or former Smith student as an author):
A multicenter evaluation of diagnostic tools to define endpoints for programs to eliminate bancroftian filariasis. Gass K, Beau de Rochars MV, Boakye D, Bradley M, **Fischer PU, Gyapong J, Itoh M, Ituaso-Conway N, Joseph H, Kyelem D, **Laney SJ, Legrand AM, Liyanage TS, Melrose W, Mohammed K, **Pilotte N, Ottesen EA, **Plichart C, Ramaiah K, Rao RU, Talbot J, Weil GJ, Williams SA, Won KY, Lammie P. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Jan;6(1):e1479. Epub 2012 Jan 17.
The NIH-NIAID Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center. Michalski ML, Griffiths KG, Williams SA, Kaplan RM, Moorhead AR. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Nov;5(11):e1261. Epub 2011 Nov 29.
A community-based study of factors associated with continuing transmission of lymphatic filariasis in Leogane, Haiti. Boyd A, Won KY, McClintock SK, Donovan CV, **Laney SJ, Williams SA, **Pilotte N, Streit TG, Beau de Rochars MV, Lammie PJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Mar 23;4(3):e640.
Detection of Wuchereria bancrofti L3 larvae in mosquitoes: a reverse transcriptase PCR assay evaluating infection and infectivity. **Laney SJ, Ramzy RM, Helmy HH, Farid HA, Ashour AA, Weil GJ, Williams SA. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Feb 16;4(2):e602.
Immunisation with a multivalent, subunit vaccine reduces patent infection in a natural bovine model of onchocerciasis during intense field exposure. Makepeace BL, Jensen SA, **Laney SJ, Nfon CK, Njongmeta LM, Tanya VN, Williams SA, Bianco AE, Trees AJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2009 Nov 10;3(11):e544.
Heritable factors play a major role in determining host responses to Wuchereria bancrofti infection in an isolated South Pacific island population. Cuenco KT, Ottesen EA, Williams SA, Nutman TB, Steel C. J Infect Dis. 2009 Oct 15;200(8):1271-8.
The impact of repeated rounds of mass drug administration with diethylcarbamazine plus albendazole on bancroftian filariasis in Papua New Guinea. Weil GJ, Kastens W, Susapu M, **Laney SJ, Williams SA, King CL, Kazura JW, Bockarie MJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008;2(12):e344. Epub 2008 Dec 9.
Determinants of success in national programs to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: a perspective identifying essential elements and research needs. Kyelem D, Biswas G, Bockarie MJ, Bradley MH, El-Setouhy M, **Fischer PU, Henderson RH, Kazura JW, Lammie PJ, Njenga SM, Ottesen EA, Ramaiah KD, Richards FO, Weil GJ, Williams SA. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Oct;79(4):480-4.
A reverse transcriptase-PCR assay for detecting filarial infective larvae in mosquitoes. **Laney SJ, **Buttaro CJ, **Visconti S, **Pilotte N, Ramzy RM, Weil GJ, Williams SA. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008 Jun 18;2(6):e251.
Human cardiac-specific cDNA array for idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: sex-related differences. Haddad GE, **Saunders LJ, Crosby SD, Carles M, del Monte F, King K, Bristow MR, Spinale FG, Macgillivray TE, Semigran MJ, Dec GW, Williams SA, Hajjar RJ, Gwathmey JK. Physiol Genomics. 2008 Apr 22;33(2):267-77. Epub 2008 Feb 26.
An unidentified filarial species and its impact on fitness in wild populations of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). Wisely SM, Howard J, Williams SA, Bain O, Santymire RM, Bardsley KD, Williams ES. J Wildl Dis. 2008 Jan;44(1):53-64.
Draft genome of the filarial nematode parasite Brugia malayi. Ghedin E. **Guiliano DB, **Laney S, **Li W, **Poole C, **Saunders L, Williams SA, et al. Science. 2007 Sep 21;317(5845):1756-60.
Seroprevalence of dengue in Trinidad using rapid test kits: a cord blood survey. **Campbell CA, George A, Salas RA, Williams SA, Doon R, Chadee DD. Acta Trop. 2007 Feb;101(2):153-8. Epub 2007 Jan 24.
**Smith College student author