LRF Honors Michael E. Williams, MD with Mantle Cell Lymphoma Leadership Award

World-Renowned Hematologist/Oncologist Receives Inaugural Award for Outstanding Commitment in the Field of Mantle Cell Lymphoma Research and Patient Care

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) presented the inaugural Mantle Cell Lymphoma Leadership Award to Michael E. Williams, MD, Professor of Medicine, and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs at the University of Virginia Cancer Center. Dr. Williams was honored during the 2021 LRF Mantle Cell Lymphoma Scientific Workshop on April 7.

Given in recognition of leaders who have worked diligently to advance cures for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and improve patient care, the Mantle Cell Lymphoma Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Williams in appreciation of his leadership as the inaugural chair and current member of the LRF Mantle Cell Lymphoma Consortium (MCLC)—composed of 150 international laboratory and clinical scientists whose research is focused on MCL—and his contribution to scientific discoveries in the diagnosis and treatment of MCL.

“Dr. Williams has led the way in advancing our understanding of mantle cell lymphoma,” said Meghan Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer at the Lymphoma Research Foundation. “His contributions to the LRF Mantle Cell Lymphoma Consortium have informed LRF’s education programming and resources for patients and led to the growth of the Foundation’s MCL research program—making LRF one of the largest private funders of research for this type of lymphoma.  We are honored to present Dr. Williams with this award for his dedication to the LRF mission and service to the lymphoma community.”

Dr. Michael Williams received his MD from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a Master of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He completed his medicine residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at UVA Health in Charlottesville, VA.

Dr. Williams’ research interests are in novel therapeutic approaches for non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), MCL, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), including targeted agents and immunotherapies.  He serves on the LRF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and MCLC and as Co-Chair for the LRF Oral Therapies in Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Scientific Workshop series. He is a member of the European Mantle Cell Lymphoma Network and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Lymphoma Core Committee.

“Many advances in the field of mantle cell lymphoma research have arisen from the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s presence in this area, and by their ability to catalyze work with the greatest potential to create an impact on this disease,” said Dr. Williams.  “I am honored to work with and be recognized by LRF, and look forward to our continued collaboration to drive scientific discovery and improve patients’ lives.”

The Mantle Cell Lymphoma Leadership Award was presented by LRF MCLC Chair Martin S. Dreyling, MD, PhD of University Hospital LMU Munich at the 2021 MCL Workshop. Since its inception in 2003, the MCL Workshop brings together leading international experts to discuss the latest research findings, foster collaboration within the MCL research community, create new directions for MCL research, and ultimately improve MCL diagnosis and treatment.  The annual proceedings paper highlighting key themes and discussions from the MCL Workshop is considered a blueprint for future MCL research and sought out by researchers and clinicians worldwide.

For more information about the LRF Mantle Cell Lymphoma Consortium, Initiative and Workshop, visit

Special thank you to Michael Williams, MD; Martin Dreyling, MD, PhD (University Hospital LMU Munich); Thomas Habermann, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester), Craig Portell, MD (The University of Virginia), Eduardo Sotomayor, MD; Sonali M. Smith (The University of Chicago), Steven Swerdlow (University of Pittsburgh); and UVA Health for their partnership in the making of the tribute video.

The Ripple Effect in Lymphoma Research

Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) grantee and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member Michael Williams, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, sees lymphoma research as having a ripple effect. Like ripples expanding across the water when an object is dropped into it, being a lymphoma researcher has a much larger impact on the lives of those touched by this disease than the sum of their individual research and improving patient outcomes. Read more >