Amy L. Williams
Assistant Professor
Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in Life Science & Technology

Amy L. Williams




Department of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology
Cornell University
102G Weill Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853


Web Sites

Lab Website
Department Profile


Amy holds Ph.D. (2010) and S.M. (2005) degrees in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and dual B.S. (2003) degrees in computer science and mathematics from the University of Utah.  She was a postdoc at the Harvard Medical School from 2009-2013, and at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Columbia University from 2013-2014.  In August 2014, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology.

Research Description

Research in the Williams’ laboratory focuses on developing computational methods that leverage large scale genetic datasets to learn about human genetic history, evolution, and the genetic basis of human disease. They are also broadly interested in genetic studies that shed light on haplotype evolution, particularly meiotic recombination.

Selected Publications

Williams AL, Genovese G, Dyer T, et al. for the T2D-GENES Consortium. Non-crossover gene conversions show strong allelic bias and unexpected clustering in humans. eLife 2015;4:e04637, Apr 2015.

The SIGMA Type 2 Diabetes Consortium: Estrada K, Aukrust I, Bjørkhaug L, Burtt NP, Mercader JM, García-Ortiz H, Huerta-Chagoya A, Moreno-Macías H, Walford G, Flannick J, Williams AL*, et al. Association of a low-frequency variant in HNF1A with type 2 diabetes in a Latino population. JAMA 311(22):2305-14, Jun 2014.
* Preformed sample selection for exome sequencing and contributed to association analyses

The SIGMA Type 2 Diabetes Consortium: Williams AL†, Jacobs SBR, Moreno-Macías H, et al. Sequence variants in SLC16A11 are a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes in Mexico. Nature 506:97-101, Feb 2014.
† Led the genetics analysis and wrote the genetics portions of paper.

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. Nature 491:56-65, Nov 2012.
Developed HAPMIX extension and applied it to the Latino populations.

Williams AL, Patterson N, Glessner J, Hakonarson H, Reich D. Phasing Many Thousands of Genotyped Samples. Am J Hum Genet, 91:238-51, Aug 2012.

Fejerman L, Chen GK, Eng C, Huntsman S, Hu D, Williams A, Pasaniuc B, John EM, Via M, Gignoux C, Ingles S, Monroe KR, Kolonel LN, Torres-Mejía G, Pérez-Stable EJ, Burchard EG, Henderson BE, Haiman CA, Ziv E. Admixture mapping identifies a locus on 6q25 associated with breast cancer risk in US Latinas. Hum Mol Genet, 21:1907-17, Apr 2012.

Williams AL, Housman DE, Rinard MC, Gifford DK. Rapid Haplotype Inference for Nuclear Families. Genome Biol, 11:R108, Oct 2010.

Williams A, Thies W, Ernst MD. Static Deadlock Detection for Java Libraries. European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP). Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Jul 2005.

Williams A, Barrus S, Morley K, Shirley P. An efficient and robust ray-box intersection algorithm. Journal of Graphics Tools, 10:49-54, Jun 2005.