We are excited to welcome Dr. Lakiesha N. Williams to the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. Williams will join the department as an associate professor this fall.
Williams earned her B.S. in biological engineering from Louisiana State University and received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU).
Before joining UF, Williams was an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at MSU and director of the Human Body Simulation research team. Her team uses experimental tools to study hierarchical structural changes of biological tissues that result from mechanical damage. One of Williams’ goals in studying tissue mechanics is to identify and correlate structural change thresholds and feature changes that may lead to irreversible functional/physiological changes in the tissues. There is a great opportunity in adapting processes and ideas from nature to develop novel protective systems that may potentially protect against extensive damage to tissues. Learning how nature solves problems and designs systems is beneficial in bridging the technological gap in current designs made from man-made materials. Williams’ team also uses their transferrable skillset for studying soft tissues to understand how natural systems protect themselves. Knowledge on this end enables the bridging of both the injury and injury protection worlds.
In addition to her research, Williams has worked in MSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity and with the Chief Diversity Officer on implementing pipeline programs for recruiting and retaining faculty of color into the University. Williams instituted MSU’s Visiting Scholars Program for recruiting minority faculty and chaired Mississippi State University’s Regional Diversity Conference in 2017.
In 2017, Williams was recognized by Mississippi’s Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s “Top in Technology” amongst a list of 28 others in the state. Additionally, she was awarded the IBM Women of Color Rising Star award, and MSU’s Champion of Diversity award.
Williams will be moving to Gainesville with her husband, Dr. Byron Williams who will join the UF Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering as an associate professor.
Welcome, Dr. Williams!