Dr. John A. Williams was born in Iowa in 1941, moved to the state of Washington as a child, and grew up in Ellensburg. He attended Central Washington State College and then the University of Washington where he graduated in 1968 with MD and PhD (Physiology and Biophysics) degrees. Having decided to become a biomedical scientist, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Utah, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Cambridge in the UK. In 1973, he joined the faculty of the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) becoming Professor and Vice-Chair of Physiology. In 1987, he moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he served as Chair of the Physiology department for over 20 years and as Professor of Physiology and Medicine until he retired in 2020.