Q&A with Rush University’s James M. Williams, PhD

James M. Williams, PhD, is a professor of anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry and internal medicine at Rush University. We asked him a few questions about his work and his experience at Rush.

Why do you love what you do?

It is a continual joy for me to see some of our students in action and learn about what experiences have brought them to this point. On the one hand we have students who come to Rush with such impressive pedigrees that it would be nearly impossible for them to fail. Others do not have the all-star pedigrees, but perform at the same high levels, and this excites me. Further, some of these students I interact with have such interesting “other” areas of their lives, time spent in the Peace Corps, opera singer, artists, etc. I suppose it comes down to this -– a reason I love what I do is the encouragement and thrill of working with some very bright young people. This does not change, either. Each year brings a new group of very talented people and I get to work them. How good can it get?

Another reason I love what I do is that it is a continuation of what I fell in love with in college. Two important things happened to me during my second year of college. I met my wife (who taught me to be a good student), and I met my academic love when I took my first course in anatomy. That was 1971, and both of those loves continue to this day. Continue reading