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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Roderick Williams works on the molecular, cell biology and biochemistry of neglected and orphan parasitic protozoans such as Leishmania spp and Acanthamoeba spp. His primary research goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which the protozoa parasites, Leishmania and Acanthamoeba parasites undergo cellular remodelling during their complex life cycles to aid survival and virulence. He primarily focuses on essential proteins such as peptidases,  conjugating and deconjugating proteins and their respective adaptor molecules involved in cellular pathways that regulate the activities of post-translational modifications to, and the turnover of proteins e.g. sumoylation, autophagy.  He is also interested sterol and phospholipids biosynthesis, with a particular focus on natural and synthetic inhibitors, natural variation in the Leishmania metabolome in disease tropism and new methods for investigating the essentiality and druggability of essential targets important for disease progression, in Leishmania spp. More recently, he is investigating the enzymology of cellulose degradation for therapeutic and bioenergy solutions and the use of soil microbiome for metal bioremediation

Desired research direction

My ultimate goals are to (a) identify novel molecular mechanisms that can be exploited for the development of anti-parasite therapies and (b) utilise microbial cellulose degradation pathways and microbials to provide a sustainable bioenergy solution.

Current research activities

Current projects include: (a) Protein sumoylation and cell cycle progression of Leishmania, (b) The druggabbilty of enzymes involved in sterol and phospholipids biosynthesis in Leishmania spp and Acanthamoeba spp (c) Enzymology of cellulose degradation for therapeutic and bioenergy solutions (d) Metal bioremediation.

Target collaborative companies

Biotechnology Industry - Interested in working with companies seeking help with identifying targets and developing better therapy for tropical parasitic conditions and bioenergy solutions from cellulose degradation and microbial fuel cell

Target collaborative organisations

Collaborations with Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and York are ongoing, but I am also keen to develop new collaborations with other institutions within and outside the UK

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Research Output

2-furyl(phenyl)methanol isolated from Atractilis gummifera rhizome exhibits anti-leishmanial activity

Deiva, S., Ferguson, L., Rateb, M. E., Williams, R. & Brucoli, F., 31 Jan 2020, In : Fitoterapia. 140, 6 p., 104420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    51 Downloads (Pure)

    Alkylphosphocholines and quaternary ammonium compounds against Acanthamoeba keratitis

    Mooney, R. & Williams, R., 31 Jul 2020, In : Journal of Ophthalmological Science. 2, 2, p. 5-14 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)

    Drug combinations are effective anti-leishmanials against drug resistant Leishmania mexicana

    Ahmed, H., Curtis, C. R., Tur-Gracia, S., Olatunji, T. O., Carter, K. C. & Williams, R. A. M., 2 Jul 2020, In : RSC Medicinal Chemistry. 11, 8, p. 905-912 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Structure and antiparasitic activity relationship of alkylphosphocholine analogues against Leishmania donovani

    Ahmed, H., Carter, K. C. & Williams, R. A. M., 24 Jul 2020, In : Microorganisms. 8, 8, 16 p., 1117.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 7 Downloads (Pure)


    Genes of past, present and future: does legacy pollution contribute to antibiotic resistance in industrialised estuaries?

    Kiri Rodgers (Recipient), Hursthouse, Andrew (Recipient), McLellan, Iain (Recipient), Henriquez-Mui, Fiona (Recipient), Williams, Roderick (Recipient), Rebecca Tonner (Recipient), Tatyana Peshkur (Recipient) & Charles Knapp (Recipient), 27 Apr 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    British Society of Parasitology

    Roderick Williams (Participant), Meshal Daalah (Invited speaker) & Fiona Henriquez (Participant)

    15 Apr 201917 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Carnegie Scholars' Gathering 2019

    Roderick Williams (Participant), Ronnie Mooney (Invited speaker) & Fiona Henriquez (Participant)

    28 Feb 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    The Clyde’s Industrial History and its Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance

    Kiri Rodgers (Speaker), Iain McLellan (Speaker), Tatyana Peshkur (Speaker), Roderick Williams (Speaker), Rebecca Tonner (Speaker), Charles Knapp (Speaker), Andrew Hursthouse (Speaker) & Fiona Henriquez (Speaker)

    4 Sep 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    A Scienterrific Event at UWS!

    Alicia Ware (Speaker), Ronnie Mooney (Speaker) & Roderick Williams (Speaker)

    7 Jun 2018

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

    Press / Media