Helping Children Grow Healthy Bones 


by creating computer models to help understand bone growth and development      







Dr. John Leicester Williams 
Professor and Graduate Coordinator 
Scopus Author ID: 7409574264 
(901) 678-5485 

Research interests: Mechanobiology and multiscale modeling of growth cartilage; Biophysical and microstructural properties of bone and growth plate cartilage; Design and analysis of devices for mechanical stimulation of cells and tissues; Computational and experimental analysis of total joints and oral implants. 

B.S. Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, 1975 
M.S. Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1979 
Ph.D. Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1981 
Brief Research Summary: 
Dr. Williams and team are focused on developing multiscale models of the growth plate to simulate the mechanical environment around and within chondrocytes. This relates to bone growth and fracture healing, and has relevance to developing treatments for scoliosis, nonunion fractures, and growth plate fractures. Current work is focused on the influence of the permeability of the calcified cartilage on the stresses and strains in cells at various depths within the growth plate during gait; determining the mechanical signals received by chondrocyte cilia; and understanding the growth and remodeling of the subchondral bone plate and its possible role in slipped capital femoral epiphysis, which is the most common hip disorder in adolescents. He has co-authored over 100 journal and conferences papers on the biomechanics of bone, growth cartilage, knee and shoulder joint mechanics, gait, spine, pediatric and adult fracture fixation, knee arthroplasty and prosthodontics. He is a co-inventor of 20 US and 38 affiliated international patents, which form the basis for the improved kinematics of the DePuy Synthes ATTUNE® Primary Total Knee Implant. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The Orthopaedic Research Society and is a voting member of the ASTM International Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices. He is a regular reviewer for the DEBUT undergraduate biomedical design and innovation competition, the NSF, OREF Research Grants Committee, and has served several terms as a member of the Neutron Scattering Science Review Committee for Neutron Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is an Academic Editor for PLoS ONE and PeerJ.