Jamal Williams

Jamal Williams.

As an early-career investigator in the field of psychiatric genetics, Jamal Williams is deeply committed to uncovering the underlying genetic factors that contribute to the development of disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Autism spectrum disorder, especially in populations that are historically unrepresented in biomedical research.

Inclusion of ancestrally diverse genetic data, especially in those of African descent is crucial as it allows for a more comprehensive understanding of underlying psychiatric genetic risk factors. More importantly, taking ancestry into account, leads to the identification of population-specific variants. Furthermore, because of the diverse variation that exist in the African genome, including these populations in our studies allows for the discovery of novel risk loci that are normally masked in Euro-centric studies.

Williams is actively involved with the community, collaborating with organizations and researchers to engage and recruit participants of African descent, and making sure that the study design and analysis are culturally appropriate and respectful. He is also a dedicated member of several academic and community health committees, working to contribute to the discussion and implementation of strategies that aim to reduce health disparities.