John V. Williams, MD

Division Director, Infectious Diseases, Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Director, Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children (i4Kids)

John V. Williams, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics; Henry L. Hillman Professor of Pediatric Immunology; Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; and Director, Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children (i4Kids). Dr. Williams is an international authority on the epidemiology, immunity, and pathogenesis of respiratory viruses. The major focus of his research is the immunity and pathogenesis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV). His team described the epidemiology of HMPV, a leading cause of lower respiratory infection, and discovered that HMPV uses integrins as receptors to enter cells through endocytosis. His group discovered that HMPV and other respiratory viruses induce lung CD8+ T cell impairment via PD-1 signaling. Dr. Williams also leads CDC-funded surveillance studies of acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in children based at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He conducts collaborative research with clinical investigators at the University of Pittsburgh and international sites. He has participated in studies of respiratory virus epidemiology in North America, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. His group has published studies on coronaviruses, influenza virus, HMPV, parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinoviruses. 

He completed his undergraduate education at Northern Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia and attended medical school at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. He trained in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh/University of Pittsburgh and completed fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Education & Training
BS, University of Virginia, 1990
MD, Medical College of Virginia, 1994
Pediatric Internship/Residency, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1997
Fellowship in Pediatrics, VUMC Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, 2003
Norman J. Siegel New Member Outstanding Science Award, APS 2020
Saul Krugman Memorial Lecture, NYU Langone Medical Center 2017
John M. Adams Memorial Lecture, Department of Pediatrics, UCLA 2016
Inaugural Caroline B. Hall lecture, Infectious Disease Society of America 2015
E. Mead Johnson Award in Pediatric Research, 2014
Representative Publications

Andersen WA, Franquemont DW, Williams JV, Taylor PT and Crum CP. Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma and papillomaviruses: two separate entities? Am J Obstet Gynecol 1991; 165:329-35. PMID: 1651647 

Barber SR, Werdel J, Symbula M, Williams JV, Burkett BH, Taylor PT, Roche JK and Crum CP.  Seroreactivity to HPV-16 proteins in women with early cervical neoplasia. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1992; 35:33-8. PMID: 1319282 

Ward BE, Saleh AM, Williams JV, Zitz JC, and Crum CP.  Papillary immature neoplasia of the cervix: a distinct subset of exophytic cervical condyloma associated with HPV-6/11 nucleic acids.  Mod Pathol 1992; 5:391-5. PMID: 1323109 

Weitkamp JH, Kallewaard N, Kusuhara K, Bures E, Williams JV, LaFleur B, Greenberg HB, Crowe JE Jr. Infant and adult human B cell responses to rotavirus share common immunodominant variable gene repertoires. J Immunol 2003; 171:4680-4688. PMID: 14568943 

Williams JV, Harris PA, Tollefson SJ, Halburnt-Rush LL, Pingsterhaus JM, Edwards KM, Wright PF, Crowe JE Jr. Human metapneumovirus and lower respiratory tract disease in otherwise healthy infants and children. N Engl J Med 2004; 350:443-50. PMCID: PMC1831873  

Tai J, Williams JV, Edwards KM, Wright, PF, Crowe JE, Dermody TS.  Prevalence of reovirus-specific antibodies in young children in Nashville, TN.  J Infect Dis 2005;191:1221-4. PMID: 15776366 

Williams JV, Tollefson SJ, Carper HT, Heymann PW, Patrie J, Crowe Jr JE. Human metapneumovirus infection in children hospitalized for wheezing. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005; 115:1311-2. PMCID: PMC1476700 

Williams JV, Enriquez R, Minton P, Griffin M, Crowe JE Jr., Hartert TV. Human metapneumovirus infection in adults hospitalized for acute asthma exacerbations. J Infect Dis 2005 192:1149–53. PMCID: PMC1476781 

Williams JV, Martino R, Rabella N, Otegui M, Parody R, Heck JM, Crowe JE Jr. A prospective study comparing human metapneumovirus with other respiratory viruses in adults with hematological malignancies and respiratory tract infections. J Infect Dis 2005; 192:1061-5. PMCID: PMC1483060 

Halasa NB, Williams JV, Wilson GJ, Walsh WF, Wright PF, Schaffner W. Medical and economic impact of a respiratory syncytial virus outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2005; 24:1040-4. PMID: 16371862

Research Interests
  • Human metapneumovirus
  • Pneumoviruses
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Influenza virus
  • Respiratory virus vaccines
  • Respiratory virus immunology
Research Grants

Host determinants of human metapneumovirus immunity and pathogenesis (NIH/NIAID R01 AI085062-09) P.I. (20% effort) Amount Total $1,512,660 (2016-2021)

New Vaccine Surveillance Network (CDC/NCIRD U01 IP001051) P.I. (20% effort) Amount Total $5,000,000 (2016-2021)

Flu Vaccine Effectiveness in Those Hospitalized in a Large Diverse Health System (CDC/NCIRD U01 IP00046769) Co-I (10% effort) Amount Total $2,800,000 (2016-2021)