Dr R. Thomas Williamson received his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Oregon State University in 2000 under the direction of Dr. William H. Gerwick and joined Merck & Co. Inc. in 2011 after spending 4 years with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and 7 years with Roche. At Merck, Thomas served as Director of the Structure Elucidation Group where he oversaw the NMR and higher-end mass spectrometry technologies and their support of projects in Rahway, NJ, Kenilworth, NJ, Summit, NJ, Boston, MA, South San Francisco, and West Point, PA. Thomas’ work at Merck encompassed all phases of drug discovery and development, from lead identification and technology development through involvement in clinical development teams, and troubleshooting of manufacturing problems. During his tenure at Merck, Thomas was also a staunch advocate for the application of all kinds of new & emerging technologies to the solution of pharmaceutical problems and managed an annual capital instrument budget approaching $150,000,000.
In late 2018, Thomas translated this industry experience to an academic setting at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he was named the Yousry and Linda Sayed Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Thomas’ research group holds a special interest in marine natural products drug discovery and the elucidation of the structure and stereochemistry of complex molecules by NMR and the design of NMR pulse sequences to help achieve these goals. During his career, Thomas has published more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, six book chapters, and has been invited to present the results of his cutting-edge research at various venues all over the globe.