Titles and Roles
- Professor, Department of Human Genetics
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Research Program
- Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics
William R. Wilcox, MD, PhD, is a clinical, biochemical, and molecular geneticist in the Division of Medical Genetics. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disorders and genetic disorders of the skeleton, particularly dwarfisms and limb deficiency disorders. He is Board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Genetics, Clinical Biochemical, and Clinical Molecular Genetics.
Dr. Wilcox trained in Pediatrics at UCLA and then Medical Genetics in the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program. After training, he was a member of the UCLA Pediatrics faculty based in the Medical Genetics Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center until relocating to Emory in 2014.
Dr. Wilcox is a member of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics research program at Winship Cancer Institute. He is a member of the American College of Medical Genetics and serves on the practice guidelines committee. He is also a member of the Fabry Registry board of advisors and the steering committee for the NIH funded ACMG Newborn Screening Translational Research Network.
Dr. Wilcox obtained his MD from UCLA School of Medicine in 1988 and his PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA in 1989.
Dr. Wilcox's research focuses on two different areas, 1) clinical trials of therapies for genetic disorders, particularly lysosomal storage diseases and dwarfism, and 2) the genetic basis and pathophysiology of genetic disorders of the skeleton, particularly skeletal dysplasias and limb deficiency disorders. His research interests include Clinical Genetics, Biochemical Genetics, Lysosomal storage diseases, Skeletal dysplasias and Limb deficiency disorders.
Relevant to cancer, his laboratory’s work on FGF signaling in dwarfism led to an interest in cancer. While over-activation of FGF signaling from somatic mutations in FGFR3 can be involved in promoting tumor cell proliferation, identical mutations in the germline produce severe dwarfism via the growth arrest and de-differentiation of chondrocytes. Because increased FGFR3 signaling is involved in 1/3 of cases of multiple myeloma, his lab did some work on FGFR3 signaling and inhibitors in this disease. The work on FGFR3 signaling pathways is ongoing.
In Dr. Wilcox's clinical work, he cares for many patients with Gaucher disease, who have an increased risk for multiple myeloma and its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy. In a pilot study, he hopes to identify the pathologic alterations that are occurring in the plasma cells of Gaucher patients.
Publications Publication Date
Dr. Wilcox has received the following honors and awards:
- Atlanta Magazine "Top Doctors" 2015, 2016 and 2017
- John M. Adams award for excellence in Pediatrics, 1988
- UCLA Alumni Scholar, 1977-1982
- Phi Beta Kappa, 1982
- Ramsey award for undergraduate research in physical chemistry, 1982