Staff Profiles

C. David Williams, Ph.D.


Dave Williams joined the modeling and theory group at the Allen Institute in 2017, developing biophysical models of the cell. Focusing on the development of human cells provides an opportunity to adapt modeling ideas that have previously been applied to far more regular cell colonies, enabling examination of intra and inter-cellular force networks in a larger, more complex, and more detailed way. This alters the regulation of cell shape and position within the jostling world of cell colonies or, even, tissue. The developing cell colony dataset present at the Allen Institute is an ideal environment in which to probe these interactions.

Dave received his BA in Physics from Reed College and joined the Tom Daniel and Mike Regnier labs at the University of Washington where he completed his PhD in Physiology & Biophysics creating mesoscale models of muscle physiology to understand force networks within and between cells. This project prompted one of the first uses of Amazon Web Services at UW, allowing dynamic cluster scaling. Following graduation he was a NSF Mathematical Biology postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, studying sensory processing during animal flight at Harvard’s Concord Field Station in Andrew Biewener’s lab. Immediately before joining the institute Dave worked as a Moore/Sloan and Washington Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Data Science at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute, continuing the development of muscle models and statistical methods of processing X-ray diffraction images.


Selected Publications

A Bayesian framework for the detection of diffusive heterogeneity

PLoS One
May 7, 2020

Cass JA, Williams CD, Theriot J

DLITE Uses Cell-Cell Interface Movement to Better Infer Cell-Cell Tensions

Biophysical Journal
November 5, 2019

Vasan R, Maleckar MM, Williams CD, Rangamani P