Justin Williams, PHD

Position title: Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor; Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Neurological Surgery

Email: jwilliams@engr.wisc.edu

Phone: 608-265-3952

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Neurological Disease
Aligned Research Focus:


More information:
Research Description:

Justin Wiliams’ lab is interested in the development of novel engineering systems for guiding the growth and development of neurons and neural stem cells. Most of these techniques are rooted in micro and nanotechnology, as these approaches afford many advantages for interfacing with the nervous system in a very controlled, yet minimally intrusive manor. One of their primary goals are to develop culture systems that can be used to investigate the competing roles of mechanical cues, structural patterns, soluble factors, substrate bound cues, electrical signals and support cells in guiding the polarization, guidance and maturation of developing neural stem cells. The lab is also involved in the development of advanced optical approaches for monitoring the integration of neural cells and micro technologies in the in vivo brain, including methods for interrogating the role of glial cells.

Selected References:
  • Weick JP, Johnson MA, Skroch SP, Williams JC, Deisseroth K, Zhang SC. Functional Control of hESC-Derived Neurons via Optogenetic Targeting. Stem Cells, 2010; 28:2008–2016.
  • Huang Y, Agrawal B, Sun D, Kuo JS, Williams JC, Microfluidics-Based Devices: New Tools for Studying Cancer and Cancer Stem Cell Migration, Journal of Biomicrofluidics, 2011; 5, 013412.
  • Yu M, Huang Y, Ballweg J, Shin H, Huang M-H, Savage D, Lagally M, Dent E, Blick R, Williams JC. Semiconductor Nanomembrane Tubes: Three-Dimensional Confinements for Controlled Neurite Outgrowth. ACS Nano, 2010, DOI: 10.1021/nn103618d.
  • Staii C, Viesselmann C, Ballweg J, Williams JC, Dent E, Eriksson M, Coppersmith S, Distance-Dependence of Neuronal Growth on Nanopatterned Gold Surfaces. Langmuir, 2011, 27 (1), 233–239.
  • Pearce TM, Williams JC. Microtechnology: meet neurobiology. Lab on a Chip. 2007 Jan;7(1):30-40.