Dr Williams graduated from University College Hospital, London and, after training in General Medicine there, took up a lectureship at The Cardiothoracic Institute, Brompton Hospital, investigating the pulmonary changes associated with chronic liver disease. 1975 took Dr Williams to Harvard, Boston where his interest in sleep began with the investigation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S.) and publication of a definitive study implicating obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) as a cause of this syndrome.
An invitation to University of California (UCLA) in 1977 to take up a post as Chest Physician allowed this early interest in OSA in infants to extend into adult patients with the very first reports of OSA causing hypertension, and of oximetry as a natural diagnostic tool. In 1985 Dr Williams became tenured Professor of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA Sleep Laboratory.
As Sleep Medicine gelled as a specialty, Dr Williams was one of the first to take the Board exams in 1989 to become an accredited polysomnographer and later member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
In 1994 Dr Williams returned to London where he established the Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital. He has published extensively on Sleep Disorders including more than 120 peer reviewed original scientific papers and more than 50 other published papers including chapters and books.
Dr Williams is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, a founding the Sleep Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and the RLS UK Group and is a member of the Executive of the British Sleep Society. In 2009 he was appointed to the first UK Chair in Sleep Medicine based at King’s College London.