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Professor Anthony Williams MB BS, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRCP

Professor of Translational Medicine

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Professor Tony Williams is Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

He graduated from University College London in 1992, undertaking an intercalated degree in Pharmacology. After training in general medicine in Cardiff, he moved to Oxford for specialist training in Clinical Immunology. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist PhD Fellowship to study MHC class I presentation at the Weatherall Institute of Medicine, Oxford gaining PhD in 2003. He then moved to Southampton to complete his clinical training and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship to work on translational aspects of antigen presentation in the Cancer Sciences Division at the University of Southampton. He was appointed to a consultant post in 2003 and set up the Wessex Clinical Immunology service for Immunodeficiency disorders.

Professor Williams has led a number of Phase I Cancer Immunotherapy Biomarker programmes evaluating the impact of antibody, small molecule and cellular immunotherapies through his translational research work in the Southampton CRUK/NIHR Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. In 2013 he established the Wessex Investigational Sciences Hub laboratory (WISH Lab), purpose built translational research laboratory to facilitate the biomarker research programmes in Phase I studies and human translational research. He was Director of the Southampton ECMC between 2013-2018, leading the ECMC renewal programme with a focus in Cancer Immunotherapy, In 2017 the WISH Lab was successful in being appointed one of 4 CRUK Centre for Drug Discovery Biomarker centres of Excellence.

Professor Williams’ research in Primary Immunodeficiency has identified a number of novel genetic immune disorders and the Clinical Department was appointed the first International Centre of Excellence for Immunology and Allergy through the World Allergy Organisation in 2014. He has been an active contributor to the MSc Allergy programme (2004 onwards) and currently leads the MSc Genomics Stratified Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Module of the MSc in Genomic Medicine.

Professor Williams established the Wessex Genomic Medicine centre in 2015 and co-directed the successful delivery of the 100K Genome project across Wessex. In 2019 he became the Deputy Medical Director of the West Midland, Oxford and Wessex Genomic Laboratory Hub, working to implement the advances in genomic medicine into clinical practice in cancer and rare disease.


BSc Pharmacology, University College London (1989)
MB BS (Broderip Medal), University College London (1992)
MRCP, Royal College of Physicians London (1996)
MSc Medical Immunology (1st), University of London (1999)
PhD, Cell Biology of MHC class I Antigen Presentation, University of Oxford (2003)
FRCPath, Royal College of Pathologists London (2003)

Appointments held

Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow, University of Oxford 1999-2002
Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist, University of Southampton 2003-2007
Honorary Consultant in Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Southampton 2003-
Senior Lecturer in Translational Immunology, University of Southampton 2007-2011
Reader in Translational Immunology, University of Southampton 2011-2015
Professor of Translational Medicine, University of Southampton 2015

Research interests

Cancer Immunotherapy

The emergence of cancer immunotherapy over the last 2 decades, as an effective treatment approach to diverse cancers that share genomic and immunological biomarkers has been an area of active research. Through the NIHR/CRUK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre programmes Tony Williams has been involved in designing, developing and deploying a myriad of immunological investigations to accompany new immunotherapy clinical trials to gain an insight into the efficacy, safety and biology of the treatments. This work has focused on new therapies that have been developed within the Cancer Sciences discovery teams, with ECMC academic partners, the CRUK Centre for Drug discovery and commercial partners. The Translational immunology ECMC team typically manages 10 active trials, working closely with research discovery colleagues at the Southampton Centre for Cancer Immunology and the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit.

Genomics of Primary Immunodeficiency

The stratification of similar clinical disorders to distinct molecular subtypes has a profound  impact on the choice of treatments, prognostic outlook and family management. After establishing a new Clinical Immunology service for Wessex, Tony Williams has worked with academic colleagues in paediatric and adult immunology to develop a research programme in the genomics of Primary Immunodeficiency. This research programme was quick to introduce whole exome sequencing (2012) into the management of undiagnosed patients with immune disorders. This has led to the description of a number of rare immune disorders and their ‘bed to benchside’ lessons for basic immunology. This work has extended to other immune disorder including collaborations with colleagues working in Paediatric inflammatory Bowel disease and non CF, PCD bronchiectasis. The development of an ImmunoTool Kit has been an active part of the research programme establishing protein based assessment of novel genes, variants and syndromes. Most recently, this work has extended to whole genome sequencing and RNA transcriptomic profiling to further characterise the diversity of single gene defects in immune disorders of infection, allergy and autoimmunity.


Cancer Sciences

Affiliate Department(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

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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

Professor Anthony Williams
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH

Telephone:(023) 8120 8059

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