Faculty Profile

Dr. S. Zev Williams, M.D.

S. Zev Williams, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health (Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility)

Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics

Areas of Research: Genomic instability, biotechnology, circulating exRNA biomarkers, assay development, recurrent miscarriage, fertility, next-generations sequencing and nanopore-based sequencing technology.

Professional Interests

Please note, Dr. Williams is now at Columbia University Medical Center and is no longer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  You may contact him by email at zw2421@cumc.columbia.edu or by phone at 646-756-8282.

Areas of Focus: Miscarriage, recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility.


Zev Williams MD PhD, is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at Columbia University Medical Center and the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (PEARL).  He is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.  Dr. Williams completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School and his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill-Cornell. His clinical and research focus is infertility with a special emphasis in helping those  suffering from recurrent miscarriages.


Miscarriage Research

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy affecting 1 in 5 pregnancies.  However, in most cases the cause is not known.  Our research program is focused on discovering causes of miscarriage and developing novel therapies to prevent miscarriage.  We are also working to develop new technologies and assays to transform genetic analysis of prenatal samples.


Extracellular RNA

We recently comprehensively and quantitatively profiled microRNAs in circulation and were able to demonstrate tissue-specificity in origin of the microRNAs.  Using the placenta as a model, we were further able to show that the microRNA fingerprint was sufficient to match the microRNA signature in a particular serum sample  with the placenta from which the microRNAs were derived.  As part of the NIH extracellular RNA (exRNA) consortium (http://exrna.org) we are now expanding this research to fully profile exRNAs and utlizing them for non-invasive monitoring of disease.

Selected Publications

  • Wei S. and Williams Z. Rapid Short-Read Sequencing and Aneuploidy Detection Using MinION Nanopore Technology. (2016) Genetics. 202:37-44.
  • Williams, Z., Morozov P., Mihailovic, A., Lin, C., Puvvula, P.K., Juranek, S., Rosenwaks, Z., and Tuschl T (2015).  Discovery and characterization of piRNAs in the human fetal ovary.  Cell Reports. 13:854-63. 
  • Li, X., Mauro, M., and Williams, Z (2015). Comparison of Plasma Extracellular RNA Isolation Kit-dependent biases. Biotechniques. 59:13-7
  • Li, X., Iddo Z. Ben-Dov, I.Z., , Mauro, M and Williams, Z (2015). Lowering the quantification limit of the Qubit TM RNA HS Assay using RNA spike-in. BMC Molecular Biology. 16:9
  • Bardos J., Hercz, D., Friedenthal, J., Missmer, S., Williams, Z. (2015).  Public Perceptions of Miscarriage. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 125:1313-20
  • Ho GY, Jung HJ, Schoen RE, Wang T, Lin J, Williams Z, Weissfeld JL, Park JY, Loudig O, Suh Y. (2015) Differential expression of circulating microRNAs according to severity of colorectal neoplasia. Transl Res. S1931-5244(15)00071-7
  • Anchan R, Gerami-Naini B, Lindsey JS, Ho JW, Kiezun A, Lipskind S, Ng N, LiCausi JA, Kim CS, Brezina P, Tuschl T, Maas R, Kearns WG, Williams Z. (2015) Efficient Differentiation of Steroidogenic and Germ-Like Cells from Epigenetically-Related iPSCs Derived from Ovarian Granulosa Cells. PLoS One. 10(3):e0119275
  • Akat, K., D’Vesharrone, M., Morozov, P., Brown, M., Gogakos, T., Da Rosa, J.C., Mihailovic, A., Sauer, M.,  Ji, R., Ramarathnam, A., Totary-J., H., Williams, Z., Tuschl, T., Schulze, P.C.  (2014). Comparative RNA-    sequencing analysis of myocardial and circulating small RNAsin human heart failure and their utility as biomarkers. PNAS.  111(30):11151-6
  • Prosdocimo, D., Anand, P., Liao, X., Zhu, H., Shelkay, S., Artero-Calderon, P., Zhang, L., Kirsh, J., Moore, D., Rosca, M.G., Vazquez, E., Kerner, J., Akat, K.M., Williams, Z., Zhao, J., Fujioka, H., Tuschl, T., Bai, X., Schulze, P.C., Hoppel, C.L., Jain, M.K., Haldar, S.M. KLF15 is a Critical Regulator of Cardiac Lipid Metabolism. (2014) JBC. In press.
  • Kudesia R, Li M, Smith J, Patel A, Williams Z. Rescue karyotyping: a case series of array-based comparative genomic hybridization evaluation of archival conceptual tissue.  (2014) Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 12:19-27.
  • Williams, Z., Ben-Dov, I.Z., Elias, R., Mihailovic, A., Brown, M., Rosenwaks, Z., Tuschl., T. (2013). Comprehensive profiling of circulating microRNA via small RNA sequencing of cDNA libraries reveals biomarker potential and limitations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110:4255-60.
  • Williams, Z. (2012) Inducing tolerance to pregnancy. N Engl J Med. 367:1159-61.
  • Ascano, M., Mukherjee, N., Bandaru, P., Miller, JB., Nusbaum, J., Corcoran, J., Langlois, C., Munschauer, M., Hafner, M., Williams, Z., Ohler, U., and Tuschl, T. (2012) FMR1 targets distinct mRNA sequence elements to regulate protein expression. Nature. 492: 382-6.
  • Williams Z., Banks E., Bkassiny M., Jayaweera S.K., Elias R., Veeck L., Rosenwaks Z. (2012) Reducing multiples: a mathematical formula that accurately predicts rates of singletons, twins, and higher-order multiples in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 98:1474-80.


More Information About Dr. S. Zev Williams

The Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (PEARL)

NIH Extracellular RNA Consortium

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Montefiore Medical Center
Institute of Reproductive Medicine & Health
141 South Central Avenue , Room 201
Hartsdale, NY 10530

Tel: 914.997.1088

Research Information

Media Coverage

Nature interviews Dr. Zev Williams about his placental miRNA research, which he hopes will lead to an early-warning test for pre-eclampsia.

The Washington Post interviews Dr. Zev Williams about the possibility that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause miscarriage.

More media coverage