John V. Williams, MD

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

Education & Training

  • Fellowship in Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, 2003
  • Pediatric Internship/Residency, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1997
  • MD, Medical College of Virginia, 1994
  • BS, University of Virginia, 1990

Research Interests

Respiratory infections are the leading cause of death in children worldwide, and a leading cause of disease in children and adults in developed nations. The focus of our research is the basic and clinical investigation of respiratory viruses. Our major area of investigation is the immunity and pathogenesis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV). HMPV is a paramyxovirus discovered in 2001 that is a leading cause of acute lower respiratory illness in infants, children, the elderly, and persons with underlying medical conditions. There are no licensed antivirals or vaccines for HMPV and little is known about protective immunity and viral pathogenesis. We seek to understand the immunobiology of this important human pathogen, to elucidate mechanisms of lung CD8+ T cell impairment, and to facilitate the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.


Rogers MC, Lamens KD, Shafagati N, Johnson M, Oury TD, Joyce S, Williams JV. 2018. CD4+ regulatory T cells exert differential functions during early and late stages of the immune response to respiratory viruses. J Immunol. 201: 1253-1266.

Erickson JJ, Rogers MC, Tollefson SJ, Boyd KL, Williams JV. 2016. Multiple inhibitory pathways contribute to lung CD8+ T cell impairment and protect against immunopathology during acute viral respiratory infection. J Immunol. 197: 233-243. 

Hastings AK, Amato KR, Wen SC, Peterson LP, Williams JV. 2016. Human metapneumovirus small hydrophobic (SH) protein downregulates type I IFN pathway signaling by affecting STAT1 expression and phosphorylation. Virology 494: 248-256.

Hastings AK, Gilchuk P, Joyce S, Williams JV. 2016. Novel HLA-A2-restricted human metapneumovirus epitopes reduce viral titers in mice and are recognized by human T cells. Vaccine. 34: 2663-2670.

Cox RG, Mainou B, Johnson M, Hastings AK, Schuster JE, Dermody TS, Williams JV. 2015. Human Metapneumovirus is Capable of Entering Cells by Fusion with Endosomal Membranes. PLOS Pathog. 11: e1005303.

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