John Cyprian Phipps Williams

John Cyprian Phipps Williams (1922 – ) New Zealand cardiologist.


  • Born 16 November 1922 in Wellington New Zealand
  • 1944 – Plunket Oratory Medal, Victoria University College, Wellington
  • 1945 – BSc, Victoria University College, Wellington
  • 1947 – BA, Victoria University College, Wellington
  • 1953 – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Otago Medical School, Dunedin
  • 1954 – Intern at Auckland Hospital
  • 1956-1962 Greenlane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1961 – As a registrar in cardiology, Williams published a paper on the syndrome that now bears his name
  • 1962-1965 Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiovascular Physiology, Mayo Clinic. [Laboratory of Professor EA Wood]
  • 1966-1968 Fellow in Cardiovascular Physiology, University College London, UK [Laboratory of Professor AF Huxley]
  • 1972 – Accepted, then later declined a post at the Latter Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1988 – Declared a “missing person presumed to be dead from 1978” by the High Court of New Zealand [Rotorua Registry M122/88]
  • 1999 – Allegedly Williams contacted Michael King (author of Janet Frame’s biography), indirectly to request that he not be ‘discussed’ in the biography.

Medical Eponyms

Williams syndrome (1961)

Generalized disorder characterized by unusual facies, abnormal behavioral abilities, cardiovascular anomalies, especially supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS), renal and other abnormalities

Characteristic clinical findings. Facial features: Young children are often described as cute or pixielike, with a flat nasal bridge, short upturned nose, periorbital puffiness, long philtrum, and delicate chin; whereas older patients have slightly coarse features, with full lips, a wide smile, and a full nasal tip

Key Medical Contributions

Major Publications


  • Disappearance in the mid-1970s when he failed to turn up for a posting to the Mayo Clinic, and his later life remain a mystery
  • Links with Janet Frame, New Zealand author and poet as part of disappearance and conspiracy theory – allegedly contacted author of Janet Frame biography in 1999 to be excluded from the book [2000 edition pages: 323-325; 340-341; 553]


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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