Imperial College London

Professor Thomas N Williams

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

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 has been a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science since 2005.  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 the Mbale Clinical Research Institute (MCRI) in Eastern Uganda and with colleagues within the REACH consortium of clinical trial sites for sickle cell disease across the continent. 

Tom's research group works 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 two trials of hydroxyurea as a potential therapy in African children with sickle cell disease (REACH and H-PRIME).  

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Uyoga S, Macharia A, Ndila C, et al., 2019, The indirect health effects of malaria estimated from health advantages of the sickle cell trait, Nature Communications, Vol:10, ISSN:2041-1723

Tshilolo L, Tomlinson G, Williams TN, et al., 2019, Hydroxyurea for children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol:380, ISSN:0028-4793, Pages:121-131

Ndila C, Uyoga S, Macharia A, et al., 2018, Human candidate gene polymorphisms and malaria in Kilifi, Kenya: A case-control association study, The Lancet Haematology, Vol:5, ISSN:2352-3026, Pages:e333-e345

Maitland K, Kiguli S, Opoka R, et al., 2018, Children’s Oxygen Administration Strategies Trial (COAST):  A randomised controlled trial of high flow versus oxygen versus control in African children with severe pneumonia, Wellcome Open Research, Vol:2, ISSN:2398-502X, Pages:1-36

Williams TN, Maitland K, 2017, The clinical epidemiology of sickle cell anemia in Africa, American Journal of Hematology, Vol:93, ISSN:0361-8609, Pages:363-370

Mackinnon MJ, Ndila C, Uyoga S, et al., 2016, Environmental correlation analysis for genes associated with protection against malaria, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol:33, ISSN:1537-1719, Pages:1188-1204

Uyoga S, Ndila CM, Macharia AW, et al., 2015, Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase defi ciency and the risk of malaria and other diseases in children in Kenya: a case-control and a cohort study, The Lancet. Haematology, Vol:2, ISSN:2352-3026, Pages:e437-e444

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

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