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Paul B. Watkins

Professor Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professor Director,Center for Drug Safety Sciences Professor

Paul B. Watkins, M.D.

Director, Institute for Drug Safety Sciences

Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy

Professor, Schools of Medicine and Public Health


photo of Dr. Paul Watkins

919-966-8389, Office Phone
301 Pharmacy Lane, Kerr Hall, CB# 7569, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599

Paul Watkins, M.D., is the director of the Watkins Lab for Drug Safety Sciences and the Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics.

Watkins is interested in mechanisms that underlie serious liver injury due to drugs. His research spans preclinical models to patients in clinical trials and utilizes current genomics technologies, including genetics, transcriptomics and metabolomics.

The Watkins Lab for Drug Safety Sciences was established in 2008 as a unique partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, a private, nonprofit research organization with over 30 years of experience in small molecule safety. Under the leadership of Paul Watkins, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in drug safety, the Watkins Lab for Drug Safety Sciences has been building a portfolio of accomplishments to position itself as one of the world’s leading research enterprises in drug safety.

Learn More About the Watkins Lab for Drug Safety Sciences

Positions Held

University of North Carolina

  • Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy 7/1/2016 – present
  • Director, UNC School of Pharmacy Institute for Drug Safety Sciences 9/1/08 – present
  • Professor of Experimental Therapeutics (School of Pharmacy) – 8/1/99 – present
  • Verne S. Caviness Distinguished Professor of Medicine – 8/1/99 – 7/1/11
  • Professor of Medicine (School of Medicine) – 8/1/99 – present
  • Professor of Toxicology (School of Public Health) – 5/1/07 – present
  • Director, General Clinical Research Center – 8/1/99 – 5/19/08
  • Director, Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute – 1/15/07 – 9/1/08

University of Michigan

  • Professor of Pharmacology – 9/1/98 – 7/31/99
  • Professor of Medicine – 9/1/97 – 7/31/99
  • Director, General Clinical Research Center – 6/1/91 – 7/31/99
  • Associate Professor of Medicine – 6/91 – 7/31/99
  • Associate Director, Clinical Research Center – 3/1/91 – 6/1/91
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine – 8/86 – 6/91

Medical College of Virginia

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine – 7/85 – 7/86
  • Instructor – Department of Medicine – 7/84 – 7/86

Honors and Awards

  • 2018 Division for Toxicology Career Award, American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • 2017 State of the Art Lecture at the ACoP 8, International Society of Pharmacometrics
  • 2017 Keynote Speaker at the 254th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Toxicology
  • 2017 Keynote Presentation at the World Preclinical Congress
  • 2017 Keynote Address at the 21st North American ISSX meeting
  • 2016 Society of Toxicology Best Toxicology Manuscript: “A Systems Biology Approach Utilizing a Mouse Diversity Panel Identifies Genetic Differences Influencing Isoniazid-Induced Microvesicular Steatosis”
  • 2015 recipient of the Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • “Highly Cited Researcher” – Among most cited authors in pharmacology worldwide 1983-2014 (
  • Society of Toxicology Best Manuscript of 2015
  • Agilent Thought Leader Award # 2636 – 2013, 2014.
  • Society of Toxicology Biological Modeling Specialty Section – 2014 Best Biological Modeling Paper: “MITOsym®: A Mechanistic, Mathematical Model of Hepatocellular Respiration and Bioenergetics”
  • State-of-the-Art-Lecture at Digestive Disease Week, the annual meeting of the American Gastroenterology Association, Chicago, 2011
  • Fellow, American Gastroenterology Association 2009
  • Sterling Lecture: Tufts University Medical School 2009
  • O’Doul Visiting Professorship – University of Kansas 2009
  • Outstanding Published Paper “Advancing the Sciences of Risk Assessment” – Society of Toxicology, 2009
  • Goldberg Lecture: University of Chicago, 2008
  • NIH, MERIT Award, 1998-2008
  • Association of American Physicians, 2006
  • Annual National Clinical Research Meetings
  • Presented “State of the Art” Plenary Lecture, 4/28/05
  • The Burton Shatz Visiting Professor, Washington University, St Louis 6/30/04
  • Honorary Membership – Society of Toxicologic Pathology – Presented after Key Note Lecture at 2004 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City
  • The Hyman Zimmerman State-of-the-Art Lecture, Annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, 11/1/04
  • Graduate Student Research Prize (1st place, Shefali Malhotra), ISSX meeting in Munich, Germany – 2001
  • Food and Drug Administration Visiting Professor – 2000
  • Therapeutic Frontiers Lecture Award, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, 1998
  • Pfizer Visiting Professor in Clinical Pharmacology to Tufts/New England Medical Center, 1996
  • 1995 Best Manuscript Award – Drug Metabolism and Disposition
  • Dean’s Award to “Highly Meritorious Faculty,” 1994
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians, 1994
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation, 1993
  • Veterans Administration Career Development Awards
  • Associate Investigator, 7/84-7/86
  • Research Associate, 1/87-1/91

University of North Carolina Clinical Center for DILIN (Drug Induced Liver Injury Network)

Cornell University B.A. Chemistry
Cornell University M.D.
N.Y. Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center Internship/Residency

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