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Dr Richard Williams
Bionanotechnology has been identified as having the potential to for tremendous benefit for health care.
Inspiration within this field often comes from functional nano-architectures discovered within the biological
world, where seemingly simple rules and forces underpin the formation of complex systems. Here, we seek
to selectively utilise these principles for the field of tissue engineering, where there is a pressing need for the
development of adjuvant scaffolds for in vivo repair. Ideally, such scaffolds should have the capacity to
concomitantly ultilise mechanical, topographical and biochemical properties to stimulate the cellular milieu
and promote endogenous regeneration. In our lab we focus on the non-covalent self-assembly of relatively
simple peptide based molecules for the formation of nanostructured, biologically functional materials. These
have the benefit of biocompatibility and ease of synthesis not necessarily found in polymeric or covalently
linked systems. Once robust mechanisms for the assembly of fibrillar networks are established, cell-
interactive stimuli (both physical and chemical) can be easily introduced and presented by the
supramolecular ordering of the assembly process. This then allows the customisation of these materials to
activate the innate regenerative cascade of specific cell types.
Dr. Williams completed his Phd in 2009 in the field of material science at the University of Manchester.
During this time he developed an entirely new method of forming and controlling the self-assembly of
peptides into novel nanomaterials. Recently, he took up an Alfred Deakin Research Fellowship at Deakin
University to study the formation and application of adjuvant tissue engineering via controlled peptide self-
assembly. His work has been cited over 440 times, and has given invited keynote seminars both nationally
Career2011- Present: ADRF, Deakin University
2009 - 2011: Postdoctoral research fellow, CSIRO Material Science and Engineering
2006 - 2009: PhD Candidate, The University of Manchester, UK
2005 - 2006: MSc, Biochemical Engineering, The University of Birmingham, UK
2001 - 2005: Genomics Research Officer, The Medical Research Council, Imperial College, UK.
Key publicationsNisbet D, and Williams, R.J. (2012) Self Assembled Peptides: Characterisation and in vivo response. Biointerphases 7:2, 2-16 Springer
Williams RJ, Hall TE, Glattauer V, White J, Pasic PJ, Sorensen AB, Waddington L, McLean KM, Currie PD, Hartley PG (2011) The in vivo performance of an enzyme assisted self assembled peptide/protein hydrogel Biomaterials 32(22), 5304-5310 Elsevier, UK.
Williams, R.J., Mart, R.J., and Ulijn, R.V. (2010) Enzyme Assisted Self-Assembly Peptide Science 94(1), 107-117
Williams RJ, Smith AM, Collins R, Hodson N, Das AK, Ulijn RV (2009) Enzyme-Assisted Self Assembly under Thermodynamic Control Nature Nanotechnology (4)1, 19-24 Nature
AL Rodriguez, CL Parish, DR Nisbet, RJ WIlliams (2013) Tuning the amino acid sequence of minimalist peptides to present biological signals via charge neutralised self assembly Soft Matter RSC, UK
View entire list of audited publications
Professional activitiesReviewer for the Journal of Biomaterial Applications
Reviewer fo Nanomedicine
Assessor for the ARC
PhD studentsStudent nameThesis title
Alexandra Rodriguez Novel tissue engineering scaffolds and their potential to repair of damaged neural tissue (with Dr. David Nisbet, ANU and Dr. Claire parish, Howard Florey) Rui LiMulti-component scaffolds for programmed cellular response. (with Prof. Colin Barrow)
Honours studentsStudent nameThesis title Laura KnottExploiting blood based biomolecules for accelerated wound healing