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William Conrad

William Conrad

Assistant Professor of Chemistry



molecular biology
cancer epigenetics
host-pathogen interactions
synthetic biology

Research Interests

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection remains one of the top 10 global killers worldwide. My lab investigates the molecular mechanisms of mycobacterial pathogenesis. We use the mycobacterium marinum / zebrafish model of infection to probe the effect of mycobacterial mutation and transgenesis on disease progression. We use insights from molecular biology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, and synthetic biology to understand mechanisms of pathogenesis for this disease.


University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Medicine
The laboratory of Professor Lalita Ramakrishnan

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Microbiology and Immunology
The laboratory of Professor Lalita Ramakrishnan

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Ph. D. in Pharmacology
Dissertation: “Understanding the apoptotic response to WNT3A in melanoma”
2006 – 10/2012

Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN
B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Biology
Minor: English

Courses Taught

BMB322: molecular biology
BMB415: Sr. Sem: Molecular Machines


Conrad WH, Osman MM, Shanahan JK, Chu F, Takaki KK, Cameron J, Hopkinson-Woolley D, Brosch R, Ramakrishnan L. Mycobacterial ESX-1 secretion system mediates host cell lysis through bacterium contactdependent gross membrane disruptions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 7;114(6):1371-1376.

Conrad W, Major MB, Cleary MA, Ferrer M, Roberts B, Marine S, Chung N, Arthur WT, Moon RT , Berndt JD, Chien AJ. FAM129B is a novel regulator of Wnt/b-catenin signal transduction in melanoma cells. F1000 Research. 2013 May 31;2:134.

Conrad WH, Swift RD, Biechele TL, Kulikauskas RM, Moon RT, Chien AJ. Regulating the response to targeted MEK inhibition in melanoma: Enhancing apoptosis in NRAS- and BRAF-mutant melanoma cells with Wnt/b-catenin activation. Cell Cycle. 2012 Oct 15;11(20).

Chien, A. J., Conrad, W. H., & Moon, R. T. (2009). A Wnt survival guide: from flies to human disease. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129(7), 1614-1627.

James, R. G., Biechele, T. L., Conrad, W. H., Camp, N. D., Fass, D. M., Major, M. B., Sommer, K., et al. (2009). Bruton’s tyrosine kinase revealed as a negative regulator of Wnt-beta-catenin signalling. Science Signaling, 2(72), ra25.

Kategaya, L. S., Changkakoty, B., Biechele, T., Conrad, W. H., Kaykas, A., Dasgupta, R., & Moon, R. T. (2009). Bili inhibits Wnt/beta-catenin signalling by regulating the recruitment of axin to LRP6. PloS One, 4(7), e6129.

Louie, S. H., Yang, X. Y., Conrad, W. H., Muster, J., Angers, S., Moon, R. T., & Cheyette, B. N. R. (2009). Modulation of the beta-catenin signalling pathway by the dishevelled-associated protein Hipk1. PloS One, 4(2), e4310.

James, R. G., Conrad, W. H., & Moon, R. T. (2008). Beta-catenin-independent Wnt pathways: signals, core proteins, and effectors. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.), 468, 131-144.


The mycobacterial ESX-1 secretion system substrate ESAT-6 is not sufficient for membranolytic activity
Poster presentation #358, EMBO Tuberculosis 2016, Institut Pasteur, Paris

What is the function and mechanism of mycobacterial membranolysis?
Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity Seminar, MRC-LMB, Cambridge, UK

Screening for regulators of beta-catenin stability
Guest Speaker at the Pharmacology Annual Retreat, Leavenworth, WA

Fam129B positively regulates Wnt / beta-catenin signal transduction
Guest Speaker at the Annual Pharmacology Science Training Grant Meeting, Seattle, WA

BTK negatively regulates Wnt / beta-catenin signal transduction
Poster presentation at the Pharmacology Annual Retreat, Leavenworth, WA

Awards and Grants

Pharmaceutical Sciences Training Grant
09/2007 – 09/2012

Department of Pharmacology Top Scholar Research Appointee
09/2006 – 09/2007