Brett Williams is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Centre for Tropical and Biocommodities (CTCB). He is the senior research fellow on the Queensland Government funded project on the improvement of tropical pulses in Queensland. Brett is/was also the co-PI on several projects funded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) (USA), QUT Bluebox and the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF). Brett joined the centre in 2010 and in addition to the aforementioned projects he has been researching the molecular dissection of programmed cell death pathways in plants using next generation transcriptomics of a novel Australian resurrection grass.
Prior to working at the CTCB Brett received his BS and Ph. D., both at QUT, in the laboratory of Distinguished Professor James Dale, where he focused on the development of a novel virus-inducible protein expression system in plants. Following his PhD studies, Brett travelled to Texas A & M University in the US where he worked in the lab of Professor Martin Dickman, studying plant Programmed Cell Death (PCD) pathways in response to biotic and abiotic stimuli. Brett’s research has led to several key discoveries including the observation that members of the Arabidopsis Bcl-2 athanogene (BAG) family are dispersed in a variety of sub-cellular organelles. He also showed temporal induction of plant PCD pathways as a key pathogenicity factor of the potent necrotrophic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Brett is the associate supervisor of seven PhD students.