Bryan R. G. Williams, PhD, Hon. FRSNZ, FAA is honored with the 2019 ICIS Distinguished Service award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the cytokine research community.
Professor Williams is Emeritus Director and Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Professor, Department of Molecular and Translational Science, Monash University. A distinguished researcher and international authority on innate immunity and cancer biology, Professor Bryan Williams has made major contributions to our understanding of the antiviral mechanisms of actions of interferons, advancing their therapeutic utility. His discoveries in the 2-5A-RNaseL pathway, cloning and characterization of protein kinase R, and innate immune signalling pathways have opened new therapeutic opportunities.
As the 1990 recipient of the prestigious Milstein Award, the International Society for Interferon Research recognized Professor Williams for his contributions to advancing interferon research for the treatment of human diseases. Elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1997, Professor Williams served as President of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research from 1998 to 1999. In 2005, he shared the Maurice Saltzman Award from the Mt Sinai Health Care Foundation, for his leadership contribution to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and in 2006 received the Dolph Adams Award for the most highly cited review article published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. In 2008, he received the Boltzmann Award for international research collaboration, awarded by the European Cytokine Society. In 2013, he was elected as a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.
Professor Williams is Chair of the Board of BioGrid Australia Ltd, and serves on the Boards of Pacific Edge Ltd, Pacific Edge Pty Ltd, Pacific Edge Diagnostics Singapore Pte Ltd, XYnapse Therapeutics Pty Ltd and Cartherics Pty Ltd. He is Chair of the Biopharmaceuticals, Biomaterials and Medical Devices Advisory Committee for Therapeutic Innovation Australia, and is a Member of the Board of Trustees and a Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research (Newport, RI, USA). He is also a Member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of BioGrid Australia Ltd and Pacific Edge Ltd, a Member of the Scientific Review Panel for the Malaghan Institute (New Zealand), a Member of the International Science Advisory Panel for Healthier Lives (New Zealand) and a Scientific Advisor to EnGeneIC Ltd. He is currently Chair of the Award Committee for the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS) and is a Member of the ICIS Nomination Committee. He is also a Member of the Gottschalk Medal Awards Committee for the Australian Academy of Science, and a Member of the Steering Committee of the Australian Living Organoid Alliance (ALOA).
Professor Williams is an Editor for the Journal of Virology, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Viral Immunology, Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews and Frontiers in Cancer Genetics, and is a Faculty Member of F1000Prime.
The 2019 ICIS Distinguished Service Award acknowledges Williams’ accomplishments noted above as well as his commitment to the ICIS and to him being an outstanding ambassador for the Society, in every regard. Since 1983 Bryan has been an active and contributing member of first the ISICR, then most recently, the ICIS. Summarized below, his numerous contributions to the ICIS, beyond his research contributions to the field, some of which are highlighted below:
- 1992 – Bryan was chair of the Organizing Committee (with Eleanor Fish and Dan Skup), ISICR Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada and Co Chair (with George Stark) Organizing Committee, ISICR 2001 Annual Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio
- 1996 – 1999 – President-Elect and then President, International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
- 1999 – 2000 and 2004 – Board of Directors of the ISICR
Bryan was a member of the International Scientific Organizing Committees for the following Annual Meetings:
- ISICR-ICS 2006 6th Joint Meeting, Vienna, Austria
- 2008 ISICR/ICS Conference, Montreal, Canada, 12-16 Oct 2008
- 9th Joint Meeting of the ICS/ISICR, Florence, Italy, 9-12 Oct 2011
- Cytokines 2014: 2nd Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS), Melbourne, Australia
2016 – 2018 – Member of the ICIS Nominations Committee
2017 – 2019 – Co-Chair (with Kate Fitzgerald), ICIS Awards Committee