Mary Williams, MD

Pediatric dermatologist

Dr. Mary Williams is a pediatric dermatologist who cares for children of all ages, from premature infants – who have fragile skin – to teenagers. Her expertise encompasses a wide variety of skin disorders, including congenital moles, inherited skin diseases, atopic dermatitis and acne. She is an internationally recognized expert in the evaluation and management of ichthyosis, a group of genetic skin disorders characterized by a buildup of dry, scaly skin.

In her research, Williams studies how hormones and other growth factors may accelerate skin development and investigates the basis for certain inherited skin disorders.

Williams earned her medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, then completed a residency in dermatology and a fellowship in pediatrics at UCSF. The author of more than 125 scientific publications, she serves on the medical advisory board of the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types (FIRST) and is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research.


Dermatology at Mount Zion
1701 Divisadero St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0316
Phone: (415) 353-7800
Fax: (415) 353-7870

More about Mary Williams


University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, MD 1969


UCSF, Dermatology 1979


UCSF, Pediatrics 1979

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Elias PM, Williams ML, Bikle DD. The vitamin D hypothesis: Dead or alive?: Response to Dr. William Grant's "The UVB-vitamin D3-pigment hypothesis is alive and well-AJPA-2016-00237". Am J Phys Anthropol. 2016 Dec; 161(4):756-757.
  2. Elias PM, Williams ML. Basis for the gain and subsequent dilution of epidermal pigmentation during human evolution: The barrier and metabolic conservation hypotheses revisited. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2016 10; 161(2):189-207.
  3. Boyden LM, Kam CY, Hernández-Martín A, Zhou J, Craiglow BG, Sidbury R, Mathes EF, Maguiness SM, Crumrine DA, Williams ML, Hu R, Lifton RP, Elias PM, Green KJ, Choate KA. Dominant de novo DSP mutations cause erythrokeratodermia-cardiomyopathy syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Jan 15; 25(2):348-57.
  4. Chan A, Godoy-Gijon E, Nuno-Gonzalez A, Crumrine D, Hupe M, Choi EH, Gruber R, Williams ML, Choate K, Fleckman PH, Elias PM. Cellular basis of secondary infections and impaired desquamation in certain inherited ichthyoses. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Mar; 151(3):285-92.
  5. Siegel DH, Choate KA, Drolet BA, Frieden IJ, Rittenberg S, Teng JM, Tom WL, Williams ML, Eichenfield LF, Paller AS. Proceedings of the Inaugural Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) conference. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Nov; 134(11):2671-2674.
  6. Elias PM, Williams ML, Choi EH, Feingold KR. Role of cholesterol sulfate in epidermal structure and function: lessons from X-linked ichthyosis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar; 1841(3):353-61.
  7. Elias PM, Gruber R, Crumrine D, Menon G, Williams ML, Wakefield JS, Holleran WM, Uchida Y. Formation and functions of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE). Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar; 1841(3):314-8.
  8. Elias PM, Williams ML. Re-appraisal of current theories for the development and loss of epidermal pigmentation in hominins and modern humans. J Hum Evol. 2013 Jun; 64(6):687-92.
  9. Elias PM, Williams ML. Comment on 'does a history of eczema predict a future Basal cell carcinoma?'. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jun; 133(6):1676-7.
  10. Elias PM, Williams ML, Feingold KR. Abnormal barrier function in the pathogenesis of ichthyosis: therapeutic implications for lipid metabolic disorders. Clin Dermatol. 2012 May-Jun; 30(3):311-22.
  11. Elias PM, Crumrine D, Paller A, Rodriguez-Martin M, Williams ML. Pathogenesis of the cutaneous phenotype in inherited disorders of cholesterol metabolism: Therapeutic implications for topical treatment of these disorders. Dermatoendocrinol. 2011 Apr; 3(2):100-6.
  12. Elias PM, Williams ML, Crumrine D, Schmuth M. Focuses solely on generalized, inherited (Mendelian) disorders of cornification (DOC or MeDOC). Introduction. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2010; 39:1-29.
  13. Elias PM, Williams ML, Crumrine D, Schmuth M. Inherited clinical disorders of lipid metabolism. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2010; 39:30-88.
  14. Elias PM, Williams ML, Crumrine D, Schmuth M. Inherited disorders of accelerated desquamation. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2010; 39:89-97.
  15. Elias PM, Williams ML, Crumrine D, Schmuth M. Inherited disorders of corneocyte proteins. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2010; 39:98-131.
  16. Choate KA, Lu Y, Zhou J, Choi M, Elias PM, Farhi A, Nelson-Williams C, Crumrine D, Williams ML, Nopper AJ, Bree A, Milstone LM, Lifton RP. Mitotic recombination in patients with ichthyosis causes reversion of dominant mutations in KRT10. Science. 2010 Oct 01; 330(6000):94-7.
  17. Rizzo WB, S'Aulis D, Jennings MA, Crumrine DA, Williams ML, Elias PM. Ichthyosis in Sjögren-Larsson syndrome reflects defective barrier function due to abnormal lamellar body structure and secretion. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Aug; 302(6):443-51.
  18. Liu T, McCalmont TH, Frieden IJ, Williams ML, Connolly MK, Gilliam AE. The stiff skin syndrome: case series, differential diagnosis of the stiff skin phenotype, and review of the literature. Arch Dermatol. 2008 Oct; 144(10):1351-9.
  19. Elias PM, Hatano Y, Williams ML. Basis for the barrier abnormality in atopic dermatitis: outside-inside-outside pathogenic mechanisms. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Jun; 121(6):1337-43.
  20. Elias PM, Williams ML, Holleran WM, Jiang YJ, Schmuth M. Pathogenesis of permeability barrier abnormalities in the ichthyoses: inherited disorders of lipid metabolism. J Lipid Res. 2008 Apr; 49(4):697-714.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.