Roger Williams is a structural biologist engaged in studying form and flexibility of protein complexes that associate with and modify lipid membranes. His work concerns biochemistry, structures and dynamics of these key enzyme complexes.
The work of Roger’s group is deciphering mechanisms of activation and inhibition of diverse members of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) enzyme family involved in cell-cell communication, lysosomal sorting, nutrient sensing and DNA-damage response.Mutations in PI3K signalling pathways are common in human tumours, and Roger focuses on how they contribute to oncogenesis and how pharmaceuticals can specifically target these pathways. Roger’s group has shown how conformational changes in PI3Ks accompany their activation on membranes and established that oncogenic mutations activate PI3Ks by mimicking or enhancing these conformational changes. His group is uncovering structural and dynamic features that dictate the extreme sensitivity of PI3K complexes to membrane lipid packing and curvature.
Roger is a member of European Molecular Biology Organization and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was awarded the Biochemical Society Morton Lectureship.