Professor Hywel Williams has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the national COVID-19 research response and his lifelong research into skin diseases.

Hywel Williams, Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology & Co-Director of the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology in the School of Medicine at the University; honorary consultant paediatric dermatologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust; and former Director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme, is one of the most cited dermatologists in the world. 

He founded the Centre for Evidence-based Dermatology in 1998 and was awarded a higher doctorate (DSc) for his international research into the causes and treatment of eczema in 2013. In 2014, he was nominated to become a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the Sir Archibald Gray medal, the highest accolade for outstanding services to British dermatology, by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2017. 

Professor Williams worked tirelessly to achieve a joined-up research response to the pandemic, and is a key advisor to a number of funding and oversight groups set up to help manage the COVID-19 research response, and to ensure NHS patients receive effective treatments.

He contributed to national guidance on shielding for dermatology patients taking immunosuppressive medications at the request of the Chief Medical Officer. His co-ordinated efforts ensured people with eczema had consistent advice on how to handwash during the pandemic. He also produced a training video which has been used worldwide. 

Sharing his thoughts on being awarded an OBE, he said: “Well, this came as a bit of a shock, but it feels good to be appreciated. I owe so much to the wonderful people that I work with at the NIHR, the University and the Trust. At the end of the day, whether it is research about COVID-19 or dermatology, our teamwork is all about enabling people to benefit from unbiased high quality evidence to make informed choices.”