Research Expertise and Interest
spectroscopy, molecular structure and dynamics, analytical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, structure and reactivity of biomolecules and biomolecule/water interactions, mass spectrometry, separations, protein conformation, protein and DNA sequencing
Professor Williams' research group is developing and applying novel instrumental and computational techniques in mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, separations, and laser spectroscopy to solve problems of fundamental interest in chemistry and biochemistry. Current projects are focused in three areas; 1) elucidating the structures, functions, and dynamics of biomolecules and their macromolecular complexes with emphasis on protein sequencing, conformational elucidation, and protein-protein interactions, 2) understanding ion solvation, how water organizes around different ions and how water affects molecular structure and intermolecular interactions. Competitive interactions between ions, water, and biomolecules of interest are investigated by probing ions in size-selected trapped nanodrops using spectroscopy and ion-electron recombination experiments and 3) developing new instrumentation to analyze complex mixtures, including contents of cells, using microfabricated devices coupled with mass spectrometry and developing probes for rapid chemical analysis of surfaces with high sensitivity. A number of different types of state-of-the-art mass spectrometers and lasers are used in these studies.