Professor and Chair
Genetics, Genomics & Informatics

MEMPHIS TN 381630000
Tel: (901) 448-7050


  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis, Physiology
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, Psychobiology

Research interest/specialty

Systems genetics, complex trait analysis, and functional genomics Control of gene expression Genetics of CNS diseases and addiction Visual system structure, function, and development Advanced methods in collaborative research and data interchange


  1. Reiner, DJ, Jan, TA, Boughter, JD, Li, CX, Lu, L, Williams, RW, Waters, RS. Genetic Analysis of Tongue Size and Taste Papillae Number and Size in Recombinant Inbred Strains of Mice. Chem Senses, 2008.
  2. Abdeltawab, NF, Aziz, RK, Kansal, R, Rowe, SL, Su, Y, Gardner, L, Brannen, C, Nooh, MM, Attia, RR, Abdelsamed, HA, Taylor, WL, Lu, L, Williams, RW, Kotb, M. An unbiased systems genetics approach to mapping genetic loci modulating susceptibility to severe streptococcal sepsis. PLoS Pathog, 4 (4), e1000042, 2008.
  3. Williams, RT, den Besten, W, Sherr, CJ. Cytokine-dependent imatinib resistance in mouse BCR-ABL+, Arf-null lymphoblastic leukemia. Genes Dev, 21 (18), 2283-7, 2007.
  4. Miyairi, I, Tatireddigari, VR, Mahdi, OS, Rose, LA, Belland, RJ, Lu, L, Williams, RW, Byrne, GI. The p47 GTPases Iigp2 and Irgb10 regulate innate immunity and inflammation to murine Chlamydia psittaci infection. J Immunol, 179 (3), 1814-24, 2007.
  5. Jan, TA, Lu, L, Li, CX, Williams, RW, Waters, RS. Genetic analysis of posterior medial barrel subfield (PMBSF) size in somatosensory cortex (SI) in recombinant inbred strains of mice. BMC Neurosci, 9, 3, 2007.
  6. Bao, L, Peirce, JL, Zhou, M, Li, H, Goldowitz, D, Williams, RW, Lu, L, Cui, Y. An integrative genomics strategy for systematic characterization of genetic loci modulating phenotypes. Hum Mol Genet, 16 (11), 1381-90, 2007.
  7. Peirce, JL, Broman, KW, Lu, L, Chesler, EJ, Zhou, G, Airey, DC, Birmingham, AE, Williams, RW. Genome Reshuffling for Advanced Intercross Permutation (GRAIP): simulation and permutation for advanced intercross population analysis. PLoS ONE, 3 (4), e1977, 2007.
  8. Peirce, JL, Broman, KW, Lu, L, Williams, RW. A simple method for combining genetic mapping data from multiple crosses and experimental designs. PLoS ONE, 2 (10), e1036, 2007.
  9. Bao, L, Zhou, M, Wu, L, Lu, L, Goldowitz, D, Williams, RW, Cui, Y. PolymiRTS Database: linking polymorphisms in microRNA target sites with complex traits. Nucleic Acids Res, 35 (Database issue), D51-4, 2007.
  10. Mozhui, K, Hamre, KM, Holmes, A, Lu, L, Williams, RW. Genetic and structural analysis of the basolateral amygdala complex in BXD recombinant inbred mice. Behav Genet, 37 (1), 223-43, 2007.
  11. Williams, RW. Expression genetics and the phenotype revolution. Mamm Genome, 17 (6), 496-502, 2006.
  12. Bao, L, Wei, L, Peirce, JL, Homayouni, R, Li, H, Zhou, M, Chen, H, Lu, L, Williams, RW, Pfeffer, LM, Goldowitz, D, Cui, Y. Combining gene expression QTL mapping and phenotypic spectrum analysis to uncover gene regulatory relationships. Mamm Genome, 17 (6), 575-83, 2006.
  13. Peirce, JL, Li, H, Wang, J, Manly, KF, Hitzemann, RJ, Belknap, JK, Rosen, GD, Goodwin, S, Sutter, TR, Williams, RW, Lu, L. How replicable are mRNA expression QTL. Mamm Genome, 17 (6), 643-56, 2006.
  14. Li, H, Chen, H, Bao, L, Manly, KF, Chesler, EJ, Lu, L, Wang, J, Zhou, M, Williams, RW, Cui, Y. Integrative genetic analysis of transcription modules: towards filling the gap between genetic loci and inherited traits. Hum Mol Genet, 15 (3), 481-92, 2006.
  15. Vazquez-Chona, FR, Khan, AN, Chan, CK, Moore, AN, Dash, PK, Hernandez, MR, Lu, L, Chesler, EJ, Manly, KF, Williams, RW, Geisert, EE. Genetic networks controlling retinal injury. Mol Vis, 11, 958-70, 2005.
  16. Matthews, DB, Bhave, SV, Belknap, JK, Brittingham, C, Chesler, EJ, Hitzemann, RJ, Hoffmann, PL, Lu, L, McWeeney, S, Miles, MF, Tabakoff, B, Williams, RW. Complex genetics of interactions of alcohol and CNS function and behavior. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 29 (9), 1706-19, 2005.
  17. Li, CX, Wei, X, Lu, L, Peirce, JL, Williams, RW, Waters, RS. Genetic analysis of barrel field size in the first somatosensory area (SI) in inbred and recombinant inbred strains of mice. Somatosens Mot Res, 22 (3), 141-50, 2005.
  18. Jablonski, MM, Dalke, C, Wang, X, Lu, L, Manly, KF, Pretsch, W, Favor, J, Pardue, MT, Rinchik, EM, Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D, Graw, J. An ENU-induced mutation in Rs1h causes disruption of retinal structure and function. Mol Vis, 11, 569-81, 2005.
  19. Scott, RE, White-Grindley, E, Ruley, HE, Chesler, EJ, Williams, RW. P2P-R expression is genetically coregulated with components of the translation machinery and with PUM2, a translational repressor that associates with the P2P-R mRNA. J Cell Physiol, 204 (1), 99-105, 2005.
  20. Li, H, Lu, L, Manly, KF, Chesler, EJ, Bao, L, Wang, J, Zhou, M, Williams, RW, Cui, Y. Inferring gene transcriptional modulatory relations: a genetical genomics approach. Hum Mol Genet, 14 (9), 1119-25, 2005.
  21. Chesler, EJ, Lu, L, Shou, S, Qu, Y, Gu, J, Wang, J, Hsu, HC, Mountz, JD, Baldwin, NE, Langston, MA, Threadgill, DW, Manly, KF, Williams, RW. Complex trait analysis of gene expression uncovers polygenic and pleiotropic networks that modulate nervous system function. Nat Genet, 37 (3), 233-42, 2005.
  22. Jablonski, MM, Wang, X, Lu, L, Miller, DR, Rinchik, EM, Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D. The Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium: identification of ocular mutants. Vis Neurosci, 22 (5), 595-604, 2005.
  23. Manly, KF, Wang, J, Williams, RW. Weighting by heritability for detection of quantitative trait loci with microarray estimates of gene expression. Genome Biol, 6 (3), R27, 2004.
  24. Williams, AG, Williams, RW. GenomeMixer: a complex genetic cross simulator. Bioinformatics, 20 (15), 2491-2, 2004.
  25. Chesler, EJ, Williams, RW. Brain gene expression: genomics and genetics. Int Rev Neurobiol, 60, 59-95, 2004.
  26. Jablonski, MM, Lu, L, Wang, X, Chesler, EJ, Carps, E, Qi, S, Gu, J, Williams, RW. The ldis1 lens mutation in RIIIS/J mice maps to chromosome 8 near cadherin 1. Mol Vis, 10, 577-87, 2004.
  27. Chesler, EJ, Lu, L, Wang, J, Williams, RW, Manly, KF. WebQTL: rapid exploratory analysis of gene expression and genetic networks for brain and behavior. Nat Neurosci, 7 (5), 485-6, 2004.
  28. Peirce, JL, Lu, L, Gu, J, Silver, LM, Williams, RW. A new set of BXD recombinant inbred lines from advanced intercross populations in mice. BMC Genet, 5, 7, 2004.
  29. Chesler, EJ, Wang, J, Lu, L, Qu, Y, Manly, KF, Williams, RW. Genetic correlates of gene expression in recombinant inbred strains: a relational model system to explore neurobehavioral phenotypes. Neuroinformatics, 1 (4), 343-57, 2004.
  30. Seecharan, DJ, Kulkarni, AL, Lu, L, Rosen, GD, Williams, RW. Genetic control of interconnected neuronal populations in the mouse primary visual system. J Neurosci, 23 (35), 11178-88, 2003.
  31. Williams, RW, von Bartheld, CS, Rosen, GD. Counting cells in sectioned material: a suite of techniques, tools, and tips. Curr Protoc Neurosci, Chapter 1, Unit 1.11, 2003.
  32. Peirce, JL, Chesler, EJ, Williams, RW, Lu, L. Genetic architecture of the mouse hippocampus: identification of gene loci with selective regional effects. Genes Brain Behav, 2 (4), 238-52, 2003.
  33. Williams, RW, Flaherty, L, Threadgill, DW. The math of making mutant mice. Genes Brain Behav, 2 (4), 191-200, 2003.
  34. Cook, R, Lu, L, Gu, J, Williams, RW, Smeyne, RJ. Identification of a single QTL, Mptp1, for susceptibility to MPTP-induced substantia nigra pars compacta neuron loss in mice. Brain Res Mol Brain Res, 110 (2), 279-88, 2003.
  35. Airey, DC, Lu, L, Shou, S, Williams, RW. Genetic sources of individual differences in the cerebellum. Cerebellum, 1 (4), 233-40, 2002.
  36. Geisert, EE, Williams, RW, Geisert, GR, Fan, L, Asbury, AM, Maecker, HT, Deng, J, Levy, S. Increased brain size and glial cell number in CD81-null mice. J Comp Neurol, 453 (1), 22-32, 2002.
  37. Williams, RW, Dubnau, J, Enoch, MA, Flaherty, L, Sluyter, F, Gannon, KS, Maxson, SC, Riedl, CA, Williams, KD, Holmes, A, Bolivar, VJ, Crusio, WE. Hot topics in behavioral and neural genetics. Genes Brain Behav, 1 (2), 117-30, 2002.
  38. Williams, RW, Gu, J, Qi, S, Lu, L. The genetic structure of recombinant inbred mice: high-resolution consensus maps for complex trait analysis. Genome Biol, 2 (11), RESEARCH0046, 2001.
  39. Zhou, G, Strom, RC, Giguere, V, Williams, RW. Modulation of retinal cell populations and eye size in retinoic acid receptor knockout mice. Mol Vis, 7, 253-60, 2001.
  40. Hardy, CL, Lu, L, Nguyen, P, Woodland, DL, Williams, RW, Blackman, MA. Identification of quantitative trait loci controlling activation of TRBV4 CD8+ T cells during murine gamma-herpesvirus-induced infectious mononucleosis. Immunogenetics, 53 (5), 395-400, 2001.
  41. Airey, DC, Lu, L, Williams, RW. Genetic control of the mouse cerebellum: identification of quantitative trait loci modulating size and architecture. J Neurosci, 21 (14), 5099-109, 2001.
  42. Lu, L, Airey, DC, Williams, RW. Complex trait analysis of the hippocampus: mapping and biometric analysis of two novel gene loci with specific effects on hippocampal structure in mice. J Neurosci, 21 (10), 3503-14, 2001.
  43. Williams, RW, Airey, DC, Kulkarni, A, Zhou, G, Lu, L. Genetic dissection of the olfactory bulbs of mice: QTLs on four chromosomes modulate bulb size. Behav Genet, 31 (1), 61-77, 2001.
  44. Williams, RW. Mapping genes that modulate mouse brain development: a quantitative genetic approach. Results Probl Cell Differ, 30, 21-49, 2000.
  45. Kimble, TD, Williams, RW. Structure of the cone photoreceptor mosaic in the retinal periphery of adult humans: analysis as a function of age, sex, and hemifield. Anat Embryol (Berl), 201 (4), 305-16, 2000.
  46. Rice, DS, Goldowitz, D, Williams, RW, Hamre, K, Johnson, PT, Tan, SS, Reese, BE. Extrinsic modulation of retinal ganglion cell projections: analysis of the albino mutation in pigmentation mosaic mice. Dev Biol, 216 (1), 41-56, 1999.
  47. Hogan, D, Garraghty, PE, Williams, RW. Asymmetric connections, duplicate layers, and a vertically inverted map in the primary visual system. J Neurosci, 19 (22), RC38, 1999.
  48. Williams, RW, Angel, JM, Holdener, BC, Oakey, R, Hunter, KW. Mouse chromosome 7. Mamm Genome, 10 (10), 947, 1999.
  49. Toth, LA, Williams, RW. A quantitative genetic analysis of locomotor activity in CXB recombinant inbred mice. Behav Genet, 29 (5), 319-28, 1999.
  50. Toth, LA, Williams, RW. A quantitative genetic analysis of slow-wave sleep in influenza-infected CXB recombinant inbred mice. Behav Genet, 29 (5), 339-48, 1999.
  51. Toth, LA, Williams, RW. A quantitative genetic analysis of slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement sleep in CXB recombinant inbred mice. Behav Genet, 29 (5), 329-37, 1999.
  52. Williams, RW. A targeted screen to detect recessive mutations that have quantitative effects. Mamm Genome, 10 (7), 734-8, 1999.
  53. Zhou, G, Williams, RW. Mouse models for the analysis of myopia: an analysis of variation in eye size of adult mice. Optom Vis Sci, 76 (6), 408-18, 1999.
  54. Zhou, G, Williams, RW. Eye1 and Eye2: gene loci that modulate eye size, lens weight, and retinal area in the mouse. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 40 (5), 817-25, 1999.
  55. Strom, RC, Williams, RW. Cell production and cell death in the generation of variation in neuron number. J Neurosci, 18 (23), 9948-53, 1998.
  56. Williams, RW, Holdener, BC, Angel, JM, Oakey, R, Hunter, KW. Encyclopedia of the mouse genome VII. Mouse chromosome 7. Mamm Genome, 8 Spec No, S136-59, 1998.
  57. Williams, RW, Strom, RC, Zhou, G, Yan, Z. Genetic dissection of retinal development. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 9 (3), 249-55, 1998.
  58. Williams, RW, Strom, RC, Goldowitz, D. Natural variation in neuron number in mice is linked to a major quantitative trait locus on Chr 11. J Neurosci, 18 (1), 138-46, 1998.
  59. Rice, DS, Tang, Q, Williams, RW, Harris, BS, Davisson, MT, Goldowitz, D. Decreased retinal ganglion cell number and misdirected axon growth associated with fissure defects in Bst/+ mutant mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 38 (10), 2112-24, 1997.
  60. Williams, R, George, EO, Wang, W. Nutrition assessment in children with sickle cell disease. J Assoc Acad Minor Phys, 8 (3), 44-8, 1997.
  61. Williams, RW, Strom, RC, Rice, DS, Goldowitz, D. Genetic and environmental control of variation in retinal ganglion cell number in mice. J Neurosci, 16 (22), 7193-205, 1996.
  62. Ezer, AD, Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D. Arbitrary primer PCR of dog DNA with estimates of average heterozygosity. J Hered, 87 (6), 450-5, 1996.
  63. Goldowitz, D, Rice, DS, Williams, RW. Clonal architecture of the mouse retina. Prog Brain Res, 108, 3-15, 1996.
  64. Rice, DS, Williams, RW, Ward-Bailey, P, Johnson, KR, Harris, BS, Davisson, MT, Goldowitz, D. Mapping the Bst mutation on mouse chromosome 16: a model for human optic atrophy. Mamm Genome, 6 (8), 546-8, 1995.
  65. Rice, DS, Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D. Genetic control of retinal projections in inbred strains of albino mice. J Comp Neurol, 354 (3), 459-69, 1995.
  66. Hogan, D, Williams, RW. Analysis of the retinas and optic nerves of achiasmatic Belgian sheepdogs. J Comp Neurol, 352 (3), 367-80, 1995.
  67. Williams, RW. The Portable Dictionary of the Mouse Genome: a personal database for gene mapping and molecular biology. Mamm Genome, 5 (6), 372-5, 1994.
  68. Williams, RW, Hogan, D, Garraghty, PE. Target recognition and visual maps in the thalamus of achiasmatic dogs. Nature, 367 (6464), 637-9, 1994.
  69. Williams, RW, Cavada, C, Reinoso-Suárez, F. Rapid evolution of the visual system: a cellular assay of the retina and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the Spanish wildcat and the domestic cat. J Neurosci, 13 (1), 208-28, 1993.
  70. Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D. Lineage versus environment in embryonic retina: a revisionist perspective. Trends Neurosci, 15 (10), 368-73, 1992.
  71. Williams, RW, Goldowitz, D. Structure of clonal and polyclonal cell arrays in chimeric mouse retina. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 89 (4), 1184-8, 1992.
  72. Williams, RW. The human retina has a cone-enriched rim. Vis Neurosci, 6 (4), 403-6, 1991.