Allison Williams, PhD

Assistant Professor
415 502-4641

Allison Williams is a self-described structural microbiologist, interested in the interacting networks of bacterial nanomachines and how they sustain life through cellular communication. She is primarily interested in the molecular details of signal transduction and the assembly of the cell wall, that is carried out by complex nanomachines in pathogenic microorganisms.

She says her interests in science was influenced by her mother, an educator and elementary school principal who encouraged her to explore her curiosity about the physical and natural world. This lead her to a well-traveled training path, starting at the University of Massachusetts, with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, followed by PhD program at Duke University under the tutelage of Professor Christian Raetz, and a post-doc in the Laboratory of Professor Brenda Schulman at St. Jude’s Children Research in Memphis. She then traversed the Atlantic for a Post Doc with Professor Ivo Boneca, followed by an Assistant Professor position at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where her work focused on visualizing and understanding the structural basis of cell wall polymerization by uncharacterized enzymatic machines and how mega-structures facilitate the bacterial stress response and adaptation to adverse environments. Along with her partner and two children she is now moved to UCSF!

 

Email: [email protected]

600 16th Street
Genentech Hall, Room S572B
San Francisco, CA 94158

Phone: 415 502-4641

Publications: 

eLife Digest

Defective enzyme weakens cell wall

Allison Hillary Williams et al.

Defective lytic transglycosylase disrupts cell morphogenesis by hindering cell wall de-O-acetylation in Neisseria meningitidis.

eLife

Williams AH, Wheeler R, Deghmane AE, Santecchia I, Schaub RE, Hicham S, Moya Nilges M, Malosse C, Chamot-Rooke J, Haouz A, Dillard JP, Robins WP, Taha MK, Gomperts Boneca I

The cryo-electron microscopy supramolecular structure of the bacterial stressosome unveils its mechanism of activation.

Nature communications

Williams AH, Redzej A, Rolhion N, Costa TRD, Rifflet A, Waksman G, Cossart P

Author Correction: N-terminomics identifies Prli42 as a membrane miniprotein conserved in Firmicutes and critical for stressosome activation in Listeria monocytogenes.

Nature microbiology

Impens F, Rolhion N, Radoshevich L, Bécavin C, Duval M, Mellin J, García Del Portillo F, Pucciarelli MG, Williams AH, Cossart P

A step-by-step in crystallo guide to bond cleavage and 1,6-anhydro-sugar product synthesis by a peptidoglycan-degrading lytic transglycosylase.

The Journal of biological chemistry

Williams AH, Wheeler R, Rateau L, Malosse C, Chamot-Rooke J, Haouz A, Taha MK, Boneca IG

Bulgecin A: The Key to a Broad-Spectrum Inhibitor  That Targets Lytic Transglycosylases.

Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland)

Williams AH, Wheeler R, Thiriau C, Haouz A, Taha MK, Boneca IG

N-terminomics identifies Prli42 as a membrane miniprotein conserved in Firmicutes and critical for stressosome activation in Listeria monocytogenes.

Nature microbiology

Impens F, Rolhion N, Radoshevich L, Bécavin C, Duval M, Mellin J, García Del Portillo F, Pucciarelli MG, Williams AH, Cossart P

Visualization of a substrate-induced productive conformation of the catalytic triad of the Neisseria meningitidis peptidoglycan O-acetylesterase reveals mechanistic conservation in SGNH esterase family members.

Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography

Williams AH, Veyrier FJ, Bonis M, Michaud Y, Raynal B, Taha MK, White SW, Haouz A, Boneca IG

The dynamics of peptidoglycan structure and function: conference report on the 3rd Great Wall Symposium.

Research in microbiology

Williams AH, Boneca IG, Burrows LL, Bugg TD

De-O-acetylation of peptidoglycan regulates glycan chain extension and affects in vivo survival of Neisseria meningitidis.

Molecular microbiology

Veyrier FJ, Williams AH, Mesnage S, Schmitt C, Taha MK, Boneca IG

Atg8 transfer from Atg7 to Atg3: a distinctive E1-E2 architecture and mechanism in the autophagy pathway.

Molecular cell

Taherbhoy AM, Tait SW, Kaiser SE, Williams AH, Deng A, Nourse A, Hammel M, Kurinov I, Rock CO, Green DR, Schulman BA

Structural basis for the acyl chain selectivity and mechanism of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Williams AH, Raetz CR

Structure of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase with a bound antibacterial pentadecapeptide.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Williams AH, Immormino RM, Gewirth DT, Raetz CR