College of Pharmacy

Xavier University of Louisiana

Christopher Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Telephone Number: 504-520-7435
Room Number: College of Pharmacy - Room 306A
Fax Number: 504-520-7954
Email Address:


Dr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Southern University at New Orleans. As a graduate student at Tulane University in the department of Pharmacology, Dr. Williams trained under the tutelage of Dr. Krishna Agrawal, where his studies focused on the role of HIV Tat protein in mediating hematopoietic dysfunction of HIV infection. After matriculation in 2003, Dr. Williams joined the laboratory of Dr. Frank Jones at Tulane University in the department of Biochemistry. Here, his research focused on the novel role of the ERB4 tyrosine receptor kinase as a molecular chaperone and transcriptional co-activator for Stat5a and estrogen receptor in breast cancer. Subsequently, Dr. Williams continued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Rowan at Tulane University, where his work centered on the identification and characterization of novel estrogen receptor phosphorylation sites and their impact on anti-estrogen therapy in breast cancer. Dr. Williams joined Xavier University College of Pharmacy in 2009, where he currently serves as assistant professor of pharmacology. Currently, Dr. Williams' laboratory focuses on the roles of nuclear receptor signaling in breast cancer etiology, and the potential exploitation of orphan nuclear receptors as cancer therapeutic targets.

Positions and Honors
2009- current Assistant Professor, Xavier University College of Pharmacy, DBPS
2009-current Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana, Monroe, Dept of Biology
2003-2008 Postdoctoral Researcher, Tulane University
1998-2003 Graduate Research Associate Tulane University
1995-1996 Associate Scientist II Gentest
1994 Summer Intern. Argonne Laboratories

Honors / Awards

Endo 2007 Travel Grant

Endo 2007 Minority Affairs Committee Poster Session Award

The ErbB4/Her4 Tyrosine Kinase Regulates Gene Expression by Functioning as a STAT5A Nuclear Chaperone
Featured cover article for issue of Journal of Cell BiologyJournal of Cell Biology. 167(3) Nov 8, 2004
Article also featured in Science's Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment (STKE) Science. STKE, Vol. 2004, Issue 259, pp. tw410, 16 November 2004.

2005 Birgette and Jorgen Shlegel Award for Excellence in Research

1995-1996 Beta Kappa Chi Science Honor Society, SUNO-Vice President

1996 Cum Laude Graduate

1996 Award for Academic Excellence

1992-1996 Southern University at New Orleans Foundation Scholarship

Teaching/ University Service

Xavier University, 2009 - 'ÄúPharmacology (PHCL4510, 4520)'Äù: Pharmacological principles, cancer chemotherapeutics, toxicology blocks, anticoagulants, endocrine, NSAIDs, DMARDs.

Xavier-Tulane University, 2008 'ÄúCancer: Causes, Treatments, and Disparities'Äù
Taught section on Hormone-related Cancer

Breast/Ovarian Cancer Seminar and Journal Club Series 2007-2008-Organizer/Coordinator

Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1999-2003,
Small group facilitator for medical pharmacology courses Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions.
Tulane University, 1999-2002 'ÄúIntroduction to Pharmacology'Äù
Taught pharmacodynamics/pharmacokinetics, and sedative-hypnotic drug sections for undergraduate pharmacology course.


University of Louisiana at Monroe, 2009- 'ÄúNovel Nuclear Receptor Signaling Mechanisms in Breast Cancer. Christopher Wlliams

Army DOD Era of Hope Meeting 2008- 'ÄúPhosphorylation of the estrogen receptor at serines 282 and 559 by protein kinase CK2 mediate suppressive effects on ERŒ± transcriptional activity'Äù. Christopher Williams, Carolyn L. Smith, and Brian G. Rowan

Endo 2007. 'ÄúIdentification of Four Novel Phosphorylation Sites in Estrogen Receptor Œ±: Impact on Receptor-Dependent Gene Expression and Phosphorylation by Protein Kinase CK2'Äù.¬† Christopher Williams, Carolyn L. Smith, and Brian G. Rowan

UNCF/Merck Fellows Days. 'ÄúIdentification of Four Novel Phosphorylation Sites in Estrogen Receptor Œ±: Impact on Receptor-Dependent Gene Expression and Phosphorylation by Protein Kinase CK2'Äù.¬† Christopher Williams, Carolyn L. Smith, and Brian G. Rowan

Tulane Research Days, poster presentations, Infectious Disease discussion group presentations May 2002, 2003

NHLBI presentation at American Society of Hematology Conference,
"Molecular mechanisms involved in HIV-1 Tat protein mediated hematopoietic dysfunction" Orlando, FL Dec, 2001

Professional Organizations

American Association for Cancer Research, Associate member, 2006

Endocrinology Society, Associate member, 2007


Completed Research Support
UNCF/Merck Science Initiative, PI 9/1/07- 1/30/08
Estrogen receptor phosphorylation and SERM resistance
The goal of this study was to characterize the role of estrogen receptor phosphorylation in mediating resistance to SERMs in breast cancer
 Postdoctoral fellowship, role PI

Ongoing Research Support

1K01CA129078-01, PI. 9/14/07-9/14/12
Novel Estrogen Receptor Phosphorylation Sites in Sensitivity/Resistance to SERMs role, PI
These studies will provide insight into how novel phosphorylation sights in the estrogen receptor impact sensitivity and resistance to SERMs. 2007-2011,

Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium- New Lab start-up funding, 2009-2011

Xavier University, Center of Excellence-  , new lab equipment funding

Pending Research Support

DOD-CDMRP HBCU/MI Partnership- 2010-2014, role PI, Co-PI, Maureen Shuh
Tulane partner, Brian Rowan

Office of Naval Research- Seed funds for Biosensor Research

College of Pharmacy