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Scott Williams, PhD, has been appointed the new UNC School of Medicine assistant dean for graduate education and will assume the role on Dec. 1. Williams will be the second person to serve in this role.

Scott Williams, PhD

Williams is an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, adjunct professor of biology, member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Gastrointestinal Biology & Disease, and director of graduate studies of pathobiology and translational science.

Williams will report to Donita Robinson, PhD, associate dean for graduate education, and will help oversee the operations and research and training missions of the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), which supports the development of future biomedical science leaders, promotes innovative recruitment and training, stimulates purposeful career development, removes barriers to success, and fosters a collaborative, inclusive research community. More information about OGE, which is under the directive of Vice Dean for Research Blossom Damania, can be found here.

After receiving his PhD in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University, Williams joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and then became an adjunct professor of biology and a member of the Center of Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease in 2015. Williams was promoted to associate professor in 2019, and in 2021 he assumed the role of director of graduate studies of pathobiology and translational science.

In addition to his impressive administrative record, Williams and his laboratory conduct cutting-edge research on how asymmetric cell divisions in skin cells are controlled at the molecular level, and how division orientation impacts cell fate choices in normal and neoplastic growth. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and has received many recognitions for his work, including the Kimmel Scholar Award from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research and the Joe W. Grisham Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in both 2017 and 2021.

“Dr. Williams’ experience as Director of Graduate Studies along with this exceptional track record of mentorship and research will make him very successful as Assistant Dean for Graduate Education,” Robinson said. “We look forward to having Williams’ vision to support our ongoing work to improve basic science training in the School of Medicine.”