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Williams wins NSF CAREER Award

Gavin Williams, assistant professor of chemistry at NC State University, has received an Early Career Development Award, more commonly known as a CAREER Award, from the National Science Foundation. The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to early-career university faculty in science and engineering, and is intended to advance the development of their research and careers.

Gavin Williams

PAMS faculty have been extremely successful in recent years in competing for these awards, earning 21 CAREER Awards since 2004. The Department of Chemistry has been especially productive, with six CAREER Awards in the last five years – including two this year alone.

Williams’ five-year, $574,000 grant will fund research related to his proposal, titled “Reprogramming Polyketide Biosynthesis.” Through this work, Williams proposes a comprehensive program of engineering that will, for the first time, employ combined evolutionary and chemical biology methods to reprogram small molecule biosynthetic machinery. This work is expected to provide new strategies for the synthesis of potential drugs, and yield improved insight into the molecular determinants of specificity and catalysis in this complex biological apparatus.

A native of England, Williams earned a B.Sc. with first class honors from the University of Wales and a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, where he studied under Dr. Alan Berry. He went on to postdoctoral research positions at Leeds and the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the NC State faculty in 2009.

For more information, please visit the Website for Gavin Williams’ lab: