April 20, 2016


After an extensive selection process, Dr. Christopher Williams has been selected to serve as Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program and as Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Education and Training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The MSTP has a long history of outstanding and inspirational leadership, and Dr. Williams will no doubt continue this tradition.

Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of Medicine & Cancer Biology and a 2002 graduate of the Vanderbilt MSTP. He remained at Vanderbilt as a Harrison Scholar (ABIM Research Pathway) for his Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship during which he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Scott Hiebert’s laboratory in the VU Department of Biochemistry. Counted among his other honors, Dr. Williams was inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and more recently selected as a Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow. Highly relevant to his selection as MSTP Director, Dr. Williams has directed the Department of Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program (Harrison Society), also known as the ABIM Research Pathway, since 2014 and has served as an Advising College Leader for the MSTP’s Stahlman College since 2011.

Dr. Williams has a strong track record of research funding including NIH, Veterans Administration, American Cancer Society, and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America awards. Two MSTP students, Dr. Bobak Parang and Dr. Vishruth Reddy have successfully completed their doctoral training in his laboratory, both of whom successfully competed for F30 fellowship funding to support their training, and one other MSTP student, Joshua Thompson has recently joined his lab, also obtaining NIH F30 support.

Dr. Williams is married and his wife, Emily, manages the home front. This is no small task as they have 5 children, ranging in age from 21-8, and a son-in-law.  Most of his “non-work” activities center around just trying to catch up in all of the things his kids are involved in!

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Dr. Williams’s prior experience as PSTP director puts him in a unique position to bridge the gap between pre- and post-doctoral physician-scientist development and training.

Dr. Williams demonstrates a passion for mentoring physician-scientist trainees, and is an outstanding scientist and clinician. He will serve as a great role model for our learners.  The Vanderbilt MSTP is thrilled to have recruited him to lead our program.