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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Kenneth C. Williams

professor of biology

Dr. Williams Banner

Ph.D., McGill University

Phone: 617-552-1186

Fields of Interest

Central nervous system macrophages, neuroAIDS, AIDS pathogenesis, monocyte/macrophage biology.

Academic Profile

My laboratory's major research activity centers on CNS inflammation and normal and diseased states. Specifically, we focus on the role of CNS macrophages and CD8 T lymphocytes in pathogenesis of lentiviral infection. This work includes: a) studies to define subpopulations of macrophages in the CNS and their precursors in blood and bone marrow, b) the role of the cellular immune system especially CD8 T cells controlling monocyte/macrophage activation and CNS pathogenesis, and c) developing drugs that target HIV and SIV infected/activated macrophages resulting in cell death or deactivation. In addition, we are exploring an exciting field of emergent populations of monocytes and dendritic cells that are expanded with disease. This work uses a monkey model of rapid, consistent AIDS and neuroAIDS, CD8 T lymphocyte depletion, MR spectroscopy, monocyte/macrophage biology and immunology.

View Ken Williams’ research image gallery

Representative Publications

Fitch KV, Srinivasa S, Abbara S, Burdo TH, Williams KC, Eneh P, Lo J, Grinspoon SK. Noncalcified Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque and Immune Activation in HIV-infected Women, J Infect Dis. 2013 Sep 16. (Epub ahead of print).

Burdo TH, Lackner A and Williams KC, Monocyte/macrophages and their role in HIV neuropathogenesis, Immunological Reviews, 2013 Jul; 254(1):102-13.

Burdo TH, Weiffenbach A, Woods SP, Letendre S, Ellis RJ and Williams KC, Elevated sCD163 is a Marker of Neurocognitive Impairment in HIV Infection, AIDS. 2013 Jun 1;27(9):1387-95.

Pereyra F, Lo J, Triant VA, Wei J, Buzon MJ, Fitch KV, Hwang J, Campbell JH, Burdo TH, Williams KC, Abbara S, Grinspoon SK. Increased Coronary Atherosclerosis and Immune Activation in HIV-1 Elite Controllers. AIDS. 2012 Nov 28;26(18):2409-12.

Subramanian S, Tawakol A, Burdo TH, Abbara S, Wei J, Vijayakumar J, Corsini E, Abdelbaky A, Zanni MV, Hoffmann U, Williams KC, Lo J, Grinspoon SK. Arterial inflammation in patients with HIV. JAMA. 2012 Jul 25;308(4):379-86. With Editorial Commentary. PMID: 22820791

Strickland SL, Gray RR, Lamers S, Burdo TH, Huenink E, Nolan D, Nowlin B, Alvarez X, Midkiff C, Goodenow M, Williams K, Salemi M. Efficient Transmission and Persistence of Low Frequency SIVmac251 Variants in CD8-depleted Rhesus Macaques with Different Neuropathology. J Gen Virol May 2012 93 (Pt 5):925-938 PMID: 22302881

Burdo TH, Orzechowski K, Knight HL, Miller AD, Williams KC. Dorsal root ganglia damage in SIV-infected rhesus macaques: An animal model of HIV-induced sensory neuropathy. Am J Pathol. 2012 Apr;180(4):1362-9. PMID: 22322298

Williams K and Burdo TH. Monocyte Mobilization, Activation Markers, and Unique Macrophage Populations in the Brain: Observations From SIV infected Monkeys Are Informative With Regard to Pathogenic Mechanisms of HIV Infection in Humans. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2012 Jun;7(2):363-71. PMID: 22167311

Williams K
, Hickey WF, Burdo TH and Soulas C. Mononuclear phagocytes. In: The Neurology of AIDS. HE Gendelman, I Grant, IP Everall, HS Fox, HA Gelbard, SA Lipton, S Swindells (eds). 2012 Chapman and Hall, New York, NY.

Zanni MV*, Burdo TH*, Makimura H, Williams KC, Grinspoon S. Relationship between Monocyte/Macrophage Activation Marker Soluble CD163 and Insulin Resistance in Obese and Normal-Weight Subjects. Clinical Endocrinology, accepted October 31, 2011. *Authors contributed equally.

Burdo TH, Lo J, Abbara S, Wei J, Delelys ME, Preffer F, Rosenberg ES, Williams KC, Grinspoon S. Soluble CD163, a Novel Marker of Activated Macrophages, Is Elevated and Associated With Noncalcified Coronary Plaque in HIV-Infected Patients. J Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;204(8):1227-36.

Strickland S, Gray R, Lamers SL, Burdo TH, Huenink E, Nolan DJ, Nowlin B, Alvarez A, Midkiff CC, Goodenow MM, Williams K, Salemi M. Significant Genetic Heterogeneity of the SIVmac251 Viral Swarm Derived From Different Sources. AIDS Research and Human Retoviruses, Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print].

Burdo TH, Lentz MR, Autissier P, Krishnan A, Halpern E, Letendre S, Rosenberg ES, Ellis RJ and Williams KC. Soluble CD163 made by monocyte/macrophages is a novel marker of HIV activity in early and chronic infection prior to and after anti-retroviral therapy. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Jul;204(1):154-63.

Soulas C, Conerly-Midiff C, Kim W-K, Burdo TH, Alaverz A, Lackner A, Williams KC. Recently infiltrating MAC387+ monocyte/macrophages: a third macrophage population involved in SIV and HIV encephalitic lesion formation, American Journal of Pathology, 2011 May;178(5):2121-35. PMID: 21514427.

Campbell JH, Burdo TH, Autissier P, Bombardier JP, Westmoreland SV, Soulas C, González RG, Ratai E-M, Williams KC, Minocycline Inhibition of Monocyte Activation Correlates with Neuronal Protection in SIV NeuroAIDS, PLoS One. 2011 April 6.

Ratai E-M, Pilkenton S, He J, Fell R, Bombardier JP, Joo C-G, Lentz MR, Kim W-K, Burdo TH, Autissier P, Annamalai L, Curran E, O’Neil S, Westmoreland SV, Williams KC, Masliah E, González RG CD8+ Lymphocyte Depletion without SIV Infection does not Produce Metabolic Changes or Pathological Abnormalities in the Rhesus Macaque Brain, J Med Primatol. 2011 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.2011.00475.x. [Epub ahead of print].

Ratai E-M, Annamalai L, Burdo TH, Joo CG, Bombardier JP, Fell R, Hakimelahi R, He J, Lentz MR, Campbell J, Curran E, Halpern EF, Masliah E, Westmoreland SV, Williams KC, González RG, Brain creatine elevation and N-acetylaspartate reduction indicates neuronal dysfunction in the setting of enhanced glial energy metabolism in a macaque model of NeuroAIDS. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Mar 4. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22821. [Epub ahead of print]

Autissier, P., Soulas, C., Burdo, T., Williams, K. 2010. Immunophenotyping of lymphocyte, monocyte and dendritic cell subsets in normal rhesus macaques by 12-color flow cytometry: clarification and DC heterogeneity. Journal of Immunological Methods (in press).

Raitai, E., Bombardier, J., Joo, C.-G., Annamalai, L., Burdo, T., Campbell, J., Fell, R., Hakimelahi, R., He, J., Autissier, P., Lentz, M., Halpern, E., Masliah, E., Williams, K., Westmoreland, S., Gonzalez, R.G. 2010. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals neuroprotection by oral minocycline in a nonhuman primate model of accelerated neuroAIDS. PloS ONE 5(5): e10523, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010523.

Burdo, T., Soulas, C., Orzechowski, K., Button, J., Krishnan, A., Sugimoto, C., Alvarez, X., Kuroda, M., and Williams, K. 2010. Increased monocyte turnover from bone marrow predicts severity of SIV encephalitis and correlates with CD163 levels in plasma. PloS Pathogens 6(4): e1000842.

Autisseri, P., Soulas, C., Burdo, T.H., and Williams, K. 2010. Evaluation of a 12-color flow cytometry panel to study lymphocyte, monocyte, and dendritic cell subsets in humans. Cytometry A: Jan. 22, 2010 [Epub ahead of print].