Richard T. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.

richard williams

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Systematic, High-Throughput Developmental Therapeutics in High-Risk ALL

Tragically, many adult and pediatric leukemia patients still succumb to their disease despite intensive combination chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation and improved supportive care. Failure of current treatments to eradicate all traces of disease in leukemia patients ultimately leads to clinical relapse with drug-resistant leukemic cells. By using leukemic cells precisely engineered in a culture dish to resemble one of the ‘Highest0Risk’ human leukemias, our approach is to screen thousands of drugs and chemicals to identify the most potent, selective and efficient killers of leukemic cells. Our goal is to ‘re-purpose’ known drugs (often approved for other uses) and identify known ‘drug-like’ chemicals for testing in reliable pre-clinical leukemia models as a critical step toward their deployment in needy leukemic patients.