Kaye Williams

Kaye Williams, BSc PhD


  • Chair Experimental Therapeutics, Pharmacy

Personal profile


Outside of running a successful research group and teaching highly motivated students on the MPharm programme, many of my academic leadership and management roles within the University of Manchester are focused upon the promotion and development of research. Specific contributions are made via the following:

  • Deputy Director CRUK RadNET Manchester
  • Pre-clinical lead for oncology imaging within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. 
  • Deputy director Imaging@Manchester: Preclinical
  • Co-chair of the University of Manchester Preclinical Imaging Executive (PrIME)
  • Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry

My additional roles focus on equality and diversity and in staff training and development. I chaired the Athena Swan Self Assessment team in Manchester Pharmacy School and was the MPS representative on the previous faculty's Equality and Diversity committee. I am staff training and development lead for Pharmacy and work with colleagues towards developing cases for promotion both within and outwith my division. 



Professor Kaye Williams is Leader of the Hypoxia and Therapeutics Group within the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University of Manchester. Kaye joined DPO in November 1996. Following back-to-back Research Associate and Research Fellow positions funded by the MRC, she gained tenure in January 2006, and was promoted to Chair in Experimental Therapeutics and Imaging in August 2012. Her research focuses on the tumour microenvironment, investigating therapeutic targets, vascular biology and molecular interactions that influence tumour response to radiotherapy. Kaye also leads pre-clinical imaging development within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, and has leadership for preclinical imaging within Imaging@Manchester. Externally, she has had significant roles in the NCRI Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group, in particular through association with the RadCom initiative that aimed to expedite novel drug radiation combinations into clinical trial. She continues to provide leadership in this area via the CRUK Drug-Radiotherapy Working Group. She is part of the team that secured £16.5 million for the University of Manchester towards infrastructure funding in radiation related research via the CRUK RadNET initiative and currently acts as Deputy Director of CRUK RadNET Manchester. 

Kaye was awarded the British Association for Cancer Research/AstraZeneca Frank Rose Young Scientist Award in 2005.

Research interests

Kaye currently leads a multi-disciplinary team who work towards producing proof of concept data to support the translation of novel anti-cancer approaches into patients. She has specific interests in the tumour microenvironment, particularly the condition of hypoxia, and how to therapeutically target this to improve cancer outcomes. Kaye also has a keen interest in the use of molecular targeted and/or biological therapies in combination with radiation treatment. In particular she has investigated the impact of novel agents on the underlying mechanisms that govern radiation response to enable their optimal application in a clinical radiotherapy context. These studies have underpinned ongoing clinical trials within The Christie, Manchester, and nationally that are showing positive patient benefit. Kaye has a lead role in the development of pre-clinical imaging for oncology applications within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. The focus here is to develop, validate and apply image derived biomarkers to assess changes in tumour biology and therapeutic response.

Patents filed and approved

  • Therapeutic combinations comprising poly (ADP-ribose) polymerases inhibitor. 05801173.5-2123-IB2005002900, filed Sept 2005
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. PCT/EP2011/052156, filed Feb 2011

If you would like to apply for a PhD under the supervision of Professor Williams, please visit this page.



  • Year 4. Unit lead Advanced Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Academic Advisor : 26 Advisees Years 1-4
  • Fourth year MPharm Research Project Supervisor

External Teaching and Assessment:

  • Biological Basis of Cancer Therapy Course (Royal College accredited Training Course for Clinical and Medical Oncology Specialist Registrars covering Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiology part 1 examination syllabus), Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester. 2005- to date
  • FRCR training, Kolkata, India 
  • MSc Oncology, Radiation Sciences for the Clinical and Medical Oncologist, The Institute of Cancer Research, London. Teaching lecture “Hypoxia and Radiation”; 2009- to date
  • MSc Radiation Biology, University of Oxford, teaching lectures in hypoxia and radiobiology; 2010- to date


My collaborations

Affiliated Staff

Dr Duncan Forster- Post-doctoral Researcher

Dr Emiy Rowling- Post-doctoral Researcher

Dr Abid Khan- Post-doctoral Researcher

Mrs Lidan Christie- Reserach Technician Preclinical Imaging

Mr Muhammad Babur- Research Technician

Dr Brian Telfer- Experimental Officer

Dr Ben Dickie SEO and Research Fellow, Preclinical MR


Dr Katie Finegan -  Lecturer in Cancer Biology and Therapy

Dr Ayse Latif - Lecturer in Cancer Metabolism

Dr Costas Demonacos - Molecular Pharmacology, redox sensitive transcriptional regulation

Professor Caroline Dive - Mechanisms of hypoxia-mediated modification of chemotherapy response

Professor Ian Stratford - Tumour biology

Professor Anne White - Endocrine tumour biology

Dr Adam McMahon - Integration of imaging and proteomic tools; PET radiochemistry

Professor James O’Connor- MR Imaging

Dr Jason Bruce - Pancreatic Cancer

Dr Adam Hurlstone - Lipid Metabolism in Cancer

Professor Tracy Hussell - Cancer and Inflammation


Memberships of committees and professional bodies


  • Committee member Association for Radiation Research 2016-
  • National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research (CTRad) Executive group member
  • Co-chair CRUK RadNET Drug Radiation Combination Working Group

Member of

  • British Association for Cancer Research
  • European Association for Cancer Research
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Association of Radiation Research
  • Radiation Research Society


  • 1997 - PhD Faculty of Medicine - University of Manchester
  • 1993 - BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology - First Class, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cancer
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Digital Futures


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