Contact Information

Department of Neurology

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Neurology
Room A1036
4301 Jones Bridge Road, C1094
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Phone: (301) 295-3643
Fax: (301) 295-0620

William D. Watson, Department of Neurology

William D. Watson, M.D., Ph.D.

Phone: 301-295-3840
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Comprehensive National Neuroscience Program


  • Uniformed Services University (Ph.D - Neuroscience)
  • Uniformed Services University (M.D. - Medicine)
  • United States Naval Academy (B.S. - Naval Architecture)

Positions and Honors

  • Medical Internship, Internal Medicine, National Naval Medical Center
  • Medical Residency, Neurology, Walter Reed and National Naval Medical Center, 2001-2004
  • Semi-finalist in WRAMC Clinical Research BK Ashford competition, 2004
  • Semi-finalist in WRAMC Basic Science Research BK Ashford competition, 2004
  • John M. Hallenbeck Neurology Award graduating military Neurology Resident for demonstrated excellence in the Neurosciences, 2004
  • Neurologist assigned to the USNS Comfort, 2004-2008
  • Deployed with USNS Comfort as part of Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts, 2005
  • Staff Neurologist, National Naval Medical Center, 2004-present
  • Assistant Chair Neurology, National Naval Medical Center, 2004-2006
  • Chair, Department of Neurology, National Naval Medical Center, 2006-2008
  • Chair, Scientific Review Panel, National Naval Medical Center, 2006-2008
  • Chair, Neurosciences Committee (Neurology and Neurosurgery), Graduate Medical Education Selection Board, 2006-2009
  • Associate Program Director Neurology Residency, National Naval Medical Center, 2006-2010
  • Vice Chair, Scientific Review Panel, National Naval Medical Center, 2008-present
  • Assistant Professor Neurology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 2004-present
  • Interim Navy Neurology Specialty Leader to the Navy Surgeon General, 2008-2009
  • Director, Congressionally mandated Comprehensive National Neurosciences Program, 2009-present
  • Elected to USUHS Faculty Senate, 2009-present
  • Chair, Faculty Senate Constitutional Committee, 2010-2011

Research and Teaching

Research: Dr. Watson, an expert in calcium homeostasis, maintains several avenues of research in his laboratory. Currently, he is investigating the response of calcium sequestration in the endoplasmic reticulum in response to systemic changes in metabolism, specifically glucose metabolites as well as multiple forms of brain injury. Dr. Watson is also the primary investigator of a large, collaborative effort involving researchers at both Uniformed Services University and the National Institutes of Health evaluating the timing and dosing of stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury. Dr. Watson's active research projects include studies of the primary and secondary injury cascades of brain and neurodegenerative diseases, among others. In addition to his basic science research, Dr. Watson is integral to multiple clinical trials investigating migraine headaches, EEG biosignatures of mild TBI and severe traumatic brain injury and polytrauma.

Current Research Support:Office of Naval Research, Uniformed Services University, Center for Neuroregenerative Medicine, Comprehensive National Neuroscience Program

Teaching: Dr. Watson is an active clinician (Neurology) at the National Naval Medical Center, where he is the Navy Neurology Residency Program Director. In the hospital setting, Dr. Watson teaches clinical and ward medicine to fellows, residents, interns, and medical students as an attending neurology clinician and ward consulting staff. Dr. Watson provides periodic grand rounds, resident lectures, frequent 4th year clinical medical student seminars and invited lectures. At the university, Dr. Watson is the Course Coordinator for the graduate school mandated Neurobiology of Diseases course (3 credits). He also routinely participates as a faculty member in teaching and lecturing in MS-I through MS-IV School of Medicine (SOM) courses, including neurology, pathology, biochemistry, head and neck anatomy, preventive medicine, introduction to clinical reasoning and introduction to clinical medicine.

Mentoring: In addition to the many neurology residents he has mentored, Dr. Watson is currently training multiple researchers at all levels in his laboratory, including post-doctoral researchers, doctoral students, research associates, and undergraduate students. Dr. Watson also mentors faculty members and staff in multiple departments.