Spencer Williams obtained his BSc and PhD (under the supervision of Professor Bob Stick) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). For 1998-2000 he was an Izaac Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Stephen G Withers at theUniversity of British Columbia, Canada, where he worked on glycosidase inhibitors. For 2001-2002 he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation in the laboratory of Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, based at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Since July 2002 Spencer has been a member of the faculty in the School of Chemistry. His current interests include Chemical Biology: the application of chemical synthesis, and in particular carbohydrate chemistry, to biological problems; and Medicinal Chemistry: the development of new therapeutic agents for treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pain. He has authored over 170 journal articles, 13 patents, 6 book chapters, and co-authored a textbook, Carbohydrates: The Essential Molecules of Life (RV Stick and SJ Williams, 2009, Elsevier). He is a co-founder of FibrotechTherapeutics (sold to Shire Plc in 2014), Certa, OccuRx, and TianLi, Melbourne-based biotechnology companies.

Curriculum vitae:

  • BSc (Hons) W.Aust. (1995);
  • PhD W.Aust. (conferred 2001);
  • Lecturer, University of Melbourne (2002);
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne (2006);
  • Associate Professor & Reader (2012);
  • Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2014-2017);
  • Professor (2016).


  • Inaugural RACI Jim O’Donnell Travel Award (1996);
  • Izaac Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia (SG Withers, 1998-2000);
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation, University of California at Berkeley (CR Bertozzi, 2001-2002);
  • Selby Research Award (2002);
  • RACI Divisional Organic Lectureship (2005);
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (2007);
  • Rennie Memorial Medal (2008);
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2009);
  • Biota Award for Medicinal Chemistry (2010);
  • Grimwade Prize for Industrial Chemistry (2011);
  • David Syme Research Prize (2014).
  • H G Smith Award (2021).