Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Williams’ work focuses primarily on cognitive and emotional recovery of children who have been medically compromised. With improved medical treatment and increased survival rates comes the need to better understand the challenges that patients face following a life threatening illness or injury. Advances in medical technology have opened the door to a better understanding of cognitive development and the recovery or deterioration process over time. Currently, Dr. Williams is examining the neuropsychological impact of treatment for children who have undergone a bone marrow transplant (BMT). The existence of cognitive deficits in this population – intellectual and academic functioning, memory impairment, visual motor difficulties, problems with attention, concentration and executive functioning - has been in question over the years with research supporting both perspectives. Clinical experience and patient report, however, support the hypothesis that cognitive difficulties exist. New technologies such as imaging, used in concert with established neuropsychological measurement, offer great promise in expanding our understanding of the impact of these treatments and ultimately, improving outcome. Dr. Williams is conducting a NIH funded study examining neuropsychological functioning, imaging and genetic data. Additionally, Dr. Williams has studied children with traumatic brain injuries and continues to see these children in her clinical practice.