Imperial College London

Professor Thomas N Williams

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Research



tom.williams Website




Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





Tom Williams joined the Department of Medicine at Imperial College as Professor of Haemoglobinopathy Research in April 2013.  Based in Oxford for much of the previous 20 years, his appointment marks a return to Imperial College, having qualified in Medicine from Westminster Medical School and conducted much of his clinical training in London hospitals.

Professor Williams is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science.  His research base is the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme in Kilifi, Kenya although his work involves extensive collaborations with colleagues throughout Africa, most notably with Dr Peter Olupot Olupot at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Eastern Uganda, Dr Joel Montgomery at CDC, Kisumu, Kenya, and with colleagues within the INDEPTH network of demographic surveillance sites. 

Tom's group work on the positive and negative health consequences of a range of genetic disorders, with a particular focus on disorders affecting the red blood cell.  They address this question through a range of approaches including large-scale epidemiological studies, health-economic studies, clinical trials, and laboratory-based studies that focus on the mechanisms of malaria resistance in children with defined red cell disorders.  Examples of current projects include: a birth cohort study of more than 16,000 children, genotyped for a range of genetic polymorphisms, who are being followed for clinical events in Kilifi District, Kenya; descriptive studies of the natural history of sickle cell disease in East Africa; studies of the nutritional consequences of a range of red cell disorders and clinical trials in sick children, including a trial of hydroxyurea as a potential therapy in African children with sickle cell disease.  

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Piel FB, Hay SI, Gupta S, et al., 2013, Global Burden of Sickle Cell Anaemia in Children under Five, 2010-2050: Modelling Based on Demographics, Excess Mortality, and Interventions, Plos Medicine, Vol:10

Piel FB, Patil AP, Howes RE, et al., 2013, Global epidemiology of Sickle haemoglobin in neonates: A contemporary geostatistical model-based map and population estimates, The Lancet, Vol:381, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:142-151

More Publications