William Atkins

Professor and Chair, Medicinal Chemistry

Atkins Lab, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Design/Metabolism/Transport and Research and Training Consortium, Medicinal Chemistry Faculty, School Faculty

Telephone: (206) 685-0379

Email: winky@uw.edu

Office Location: H164D

Website: Atkins Lab


  • BS in Chemistry, The College of William and Mary
  • MA in Pharmacology, Harvard University
  • PhD in Biochemistry, The University of Illinois

Research Interests

  • Drug Metabolizing Enzymes
  • Therapeutic Antibodies
  • Protein structure and Function

Taking Students: No

Courses Taught

  • MEDCH 531
  • MEDCH 501
  • MEDCH 528
  • MEDCH 327
  • MEDCH 527
  • MEDCH 529


Dr. William M. Atkins earned a Masters Degree in Pharmacology from Harvard University in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988. From 1988-1991 Dr. Atkins performed postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at The Pennsylvania State University, as an NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Akins is currently The Sidney D. Nelson Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at The University of Washington, having been on the faculty there since 1991. He is the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and co-Director of the Analytical Biopharmacy Core. His research is focused on the enzymology of detoxification enzymes and drug metabolism, with particular emphasis on biophysical mechanisms. Professor Atkins has been awarded NIH grants for research on several enzyme systems including Cytochrome P450s, Glutathione S-transferases, and the P-glycoprotein efflux transporter. Recent research efforts also include characterization of nanoparticles for drug delivery and therapeutic antibody drug conjugates.

Professor Atkins serves on the International Organizing Committee for The Biennial International Conferences on Cytochrome P450’s and the International Microsomes and Drug Oxidations Conference. Dr. Atkins has served on several NIH and NSF Review Panels. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards of Archives in Biochemistry and Biophysics and Environmental Toxicology.


Selected Publications

The origins of nonideality exhibited by monoclonal antibodies and Fab fragments in human serum. Larsen HA, Atkins WM, Nath A. Protein Sci. 2023 Dec;32(12):e4812. doi: 10.1002/pro.4812. PMID: 37861473

Nanodisc-embedded cytochrome P450 P3A4 binds diverse ligands by distributing conformational dynamics to its flexible elements. Paço L, Hackett JC, Atkins WM. J Inorg Biochem. 2023 Jul;244:112211. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2023.112211. Epub 2023 Apr 5.

Low molecular weight ligands bind to CYP3A4 via a branched induced fit mechanism: Implications for O2 binding. Redhair M, Nath A, Hackett JC, Atkins WM. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2023 May 1;739:109582. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2023.109582. Epub 2023 Mar 21.

Reversibility and Low Commitment to Forward Catalysis in the Conjugation of Lipid Alkenals by Glutathione Transferase A4-4. Scian M, Paço L, Murphree TA, Shireman LM, Atkins WM. Biomolecules. 2023 Feb 9;13(2):329. doi: 10.3390/biom13020329.

Long Range Communication between the Drug-Binding Sites and Nucleotide Binding Domains of the Efflux Transporter ABCB1. Clouser AF, Atkins WM. Biochemistry. 2022 Apr 19;61(8):730-740. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.2c00056. Epub 2022 Apr 6.

Analytical and functional aspects of protein-ligand interactions: Beyond induced fit and conformational selection. Redhair M, Atkins WM. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2021 Dec 15;714:109064. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2021.109064. Epub 2021 Oct 26.

Probing interactions of therapeutic antibodies with serum via second virial coefficient measurements. Larsen HA, Atkins WM, Nath A. Biophys J. 2021 Sep 21;120(18):4067-4078. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2021.08.007. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Cholesterol Asymmetrically Modulates the Conformational Ensemble of the Nucleotide-Binding Domains of P-Glycoprotein in Lipid Nanodiscs. Clouser AF, Alam YH, Atkins WM. Biochemistry. 2021 Jan 12;60(1):85-94. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00824. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Dynamics and Mechanism of Binding of Androstenedione to Membrane-Associated Aromatase. Paço L, Zarate-Perez F, Clouser AF, Atkins WM, Hackett JC. Biochemistry. 2020 Aug 25;59(33):2999-3009. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00460. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Multiple drug binding modes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis CYP51B1. Lockart MM, Butler JT, Mize CJ, Fair MN, Cruce AA, Conner KP, Atkins WM, Bowman MK. J Inorg Biochem. 2020 Apr;205:110994. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2020.110994. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Dynamics and Location of the Allosteric Midazolam Site in Cytochrome P4503A4 in Lipid Nanodiscs. Redhair M, Hackett JC, Pelletier RD, Atkins WM. Biochemistry. 2020 Feb 18;59(6):766-779. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b01001. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Design and characterization of novel dual Fc antibody with enhanced avidity for Fc receptors. Goulet DR, Zwolak A, Williams JA, Chiu ML, Atkins WM. Proteins. 2020 May;88(5):689-697. doi: 10.1002/prot.25853. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Mechanisms of promiscuity among drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters. Atkins WM. FEBS J. 2020 Apr;287(7):1306-1322. doi: 10.1111/febs.15116. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Considerations for the Design of Antibody-Based Therapeutics. Goulet DR, Atkins WM. J Pharm Sci. 2020 Jan;109(1):74-103. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2019.05.031. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Preparation of Lipid Nanodiscs with Lipid Mixtures. Li MJ, Atkins WM, McClary WD. Curr Protoc Protein Sci. 2019 Dec;98(1):e100. doi: 10.1002/cpps.100.

Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry of membrane proteins in lipid nanodiscs. Redhair M, Clouser AF, Atkins WM. Chem Phys Lipids. 2019 May;220:14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2019.02.007. Epub 2019 Feb 22.