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Dr Anthony Williams BSc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCPath, PhD

Reader in Clinical Immunology and Allergy

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Dr Anthony Williams is Reader in Clinical Immunology and Allergy within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Williams was appointed as Reader in Clinical Immunology and Allergy in 2009. He graduated in Medicine from University College London and undertook general medicine training in Cardiff. He then specialised in Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Oxford and completed his PhD in the MHC class I antigen presentation at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford. He moved to Southampton to undertake a Wellcome Clinician Scientist Fellowship and develop a Translational Clinical Immunology programme through the Faculty of Medicine.

Dr Williams leads a Translational Immunology group within the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), CRUK Clinical Centre, Southampton that applies cutting edge immunological monitoring analyses (immunometry) to clinical trials that are evaluating immunological modifiers in haematological and solid organ malignancies (i.e. DNA vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and adoptive cellular therapies). He also has translational research programmes in Paediatric Infectious diseases, particularly primary immunodeficiency, and allergic disease. Commercial partnerships with GSK Bio and Merck Serono have been established for the application of immunometry to multi centre vaccine trials.

He is a Clinical Consultant in Immunology and Allergy and Head of the Regional Clinical Immunology Laboratory at Southampton University Hospital Trust.


BSc, Pharmacology, University College London, 1989
MBBS, Medicine, University College London, 1992
MRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London, 1996
MSc, Medical Immunology, St Georges Medical School, 1999
PhD, Molecular immunology, Oxford University, 2003
FRCPath, Royal College of Pathologists, London 2003

Appointments held

Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, 1999-2003.

Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist, Cancer Sciences Division, University of Southampton, 2003-2007.

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Southampton, 2007-2009.

Reader in Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Southampton, 2009- present.






Research interests

Dr Williams’ research encompasses basic science, translational assessment and clinical adoption of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that stem from the adaptation of discovery science in Human Immunology.

Immunological end points for Clinical Trials

In collaboration with Professor Ottensmeier (ECMC Director) and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, the translational research group have developed a portfolio of validated immunological end point assessments that are utilised in DNA vaccine, monoclonal antibody and small molecule studies. These assessments evaluate antigen specific CD4 and CD8 responses by tetramer, intracellular cytokine, secreted protein array and phenotypic enumeration. Figure 1 shows one such example where polyfunctional T cells against specific antigens maybe enumerated and utilised as biomarkers of vaccine responsiveness. These studies also extend to important rarer cell populations including functional assessments of regulatory T cells (Tregs), invariant NKT cells (iNKTs), inflammatory monocytes, myeloid dendritic cell (mDC), plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and Natural Killer cells (NK’s). These assessment platforms are currently being shared with commercial partners (e.g. MerckSerono and Geron Corp) for multi centre studies and first in man evaluations.

Host Defence, Infection and Immunodeficiency

In collaboration with Dr Saul Faust (Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility Director [WTCRF] and Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Infection and Immunity) a joint research team has been established to evaluate host defence in severe, persistent, unusual or recurrent paediatric sepsis. The programme has focused on evaluating the innate immune system of such children, partnering functional characterisations with genomic profiling through exome analysis of index cases. These studies have developed an array of new analysis tools that are currently being applied to other clinical infectious disease settings (Cystic Fibrosis and Adult onset Primary Immunodeficiency) and through commercial partnerships (GSK Bio) for the interrogation of new vaccine interventions.

one such example where polyfunctional T cells against specific antigens maybe enumerated and utilised as biomarkers of vaccine responsiveness
Figure 1

Academic unit(s)

Cancer Sciences Academic Unit

Affiliate academic unit(s)

Cancer Sciences Research group

Post graduate student Supervision

2004 Mark Howarth PhD
2005 Claire Stephens MSc
2006 Lucy Hedges MSc
2007 Emily White MSC
2008 Yifang Gao PhD
2009 Emily Keeble MSc
2010 Ananth Ramakrishnan PhD

Faculty of Medicine

Post graduate Education Management Committee- MSc Allergy Chair

National and International responsibilities

External Examiner for the University of Oxford MSc Immunology programme
Royal College of Pathology National Examiner


BM4 BM5. Educational Lead for Clinical Immunology, 2009 to present. Deliver Year 1 and 2 core programme lectures in basic immunology and application to organ specific modules_GI/Rheumatology and Endocrinology.

MSc Allergy. Chair of the MSc Allergy programme curriculum development, assessments and examination group, 2006 to present.

MSc Allergy. Module leader and Lecturer on redesigned course (2009), delivering lectures on all 5 modules.

BSc Biomedical Sciences. Deliver lectures on immunity and infectious disease.

Integrated PhD Cancer Immunology Programme. Rotational project supervisor for each of the cohorts, 2007 to present

Dr Anthony Williams
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD or Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number: SGH/CS,C15/MP824

Telephone: (023) 8120 5162
Facsimile: (023) 8120 5152

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