2016 Mentored Investigator Grant Recipient — Ryan Williams, PhD
Ovarian cancer patient diagnosis and treatment is often limited by a lack of rapidly available information regarding their disease progression, response to treatment, and relapse. The proposed work will develop an implantable real-time sensor to deliver rapid and frequent information to physicians regarding patient disease state, progression, treatment, and recurrence. This project will provide a significant advancement in the ability to detect and monitor ovarian cancer. Thus, the aim of this work is to drastically increase the cure rate of ovarian cancer by rapidly providing caregivers timely and personalized information regarding patient disease state.
Ryan M. Williams, Ph.D. is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer (MSKCC) Center Molecular Pharmacology Program. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia in 2008. In 2013, Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences from West Virginia University. His work there, performed under the guidance of Prof. Letha Sooter, focused on the selection of molecular recognition elements for prostate cancer cells and environmental contaminants as well as the interaction of carbon nanotubes with biological systems. As a graduate student, Dr. Williams received an American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Pre‐Doctoral Fellowship in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and a NanoSAFE Graduate Fellowship. Following his graduate work, Dr. Williams joined the lab of his mentor, Dr. Daniel Heller. In collaboration with Dr. Douglas Levine at MSKCC, his current research focuses on the characterization and translation of a unique implantable nanosensor to detect ovarian cancer biomarkers at early stages of disease.