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Julie Watson MA VetMB DACLAM

Julie Watson, MA, VetMB, DACLAM

Assistant Professor, Molecular and
Comparative Pathobiology.
Director, Rodent Clinical  Programs,

Research Animal Resources.
Director, Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine
Training Program.


Background and Training
Dr. Watson received her veterinary degree from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 1980. She worked for several years in private practice (horses and small animals) before moving to the United States in 1985 and completing a fellowship in Comparative Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She then worked as Attending Veterinarian, Arts and Sciences, at the University of Pennsylvania for 5 years, becoming an American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine diplomate in 1990. From 1995 to 2002 she ran her own business helping institutions to develop their animal care and use programs and gain AAALAC accreditation. In 2002 she returned to Johns Hopkins as Asst. Professor.

Current Roles
Dr. Watson is director of rodent clinical programs at Johns Hopkins and is in charge of the laboratory animal medicine clinical training program. She devises and implements the strategies for surveying rodent colonies at JHU for disease, maintains rodents free of compromising intercurrent infections, and investigates and eliminates disease outbreaks. She has introduced a diagnostic laboratory for rodent Helicobacters,  a cross-fostering service to clean up contaminated rodents, a rodent technical services program for investigators and a comprehensive support program to mitigate research delays due to quarantine. She teaches classes for ACLAM board preparation.

Dr.Watson investigates variables in the environment that can negatively affect research outcomes and she collaborates to investigate the effects of new environmental enrichment strategies.Current projects include: noise in the animal facility as an unexpected variable and its effect on age-related hearing loss in B6 mice, the impact of fenbendazole pinworm treatment on tumor xenografts and mouse behavioral testing, dietary methods to eradicate Helicobacter sp., and impact of cage enrichments on stereotypic behavior in nonhuman primates.

Articles 2008-2009

  • Effect of a commonly used foraging enrichment device on stereotypic behavior in singly-housed, female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) Shannon M. Murphy,*, L. Scott Johnson, Andy Glenn, and Julie Watson Submitted.

  • Medicated diet eradicated Helicobacter sp. from mice deficient in functional natural killer cells and complement factor D.Maria del Carmen Martino-Cardona, Sarah E. Beck, Cory Brayton, Julie Watson. Accepted Nov 2009 for JAALAS.    

  • Analysis of Environmental Sound Levels in Modern Rodent Housing Rooms.  Amanda M Lauer, Bradford J May, Ziwei Judy Hao, Julie Watson. Lab Animal 38 (5) May 2009

  •  Unexpected anti-tumorigenic effect of fenbendazole when combined with supplementary vitamins. Ping Gao, Chi V. Dang, Julie Watson. JAALAS (47) 6 p1-4, Nov 2008.

  •  Fas-mediated apoptosis regulates the composition of alphabeta T cell repertoire by constitutively purging out double negative T cells. Mohamood AS, Bargazte D, Xiao Z, Jie C, Yagita H, Ruben D, Watson J, Chakravarti S, Schneck J, Hamad ARA. PLoS ONE October 21, 2008.

  • Old enemies: still with us after all these years. Charles B. Clifford and Julie Watson. ILAR J. 49(3) Jun 2008 pp. 291-302.

  •  New building, old parasite. mesostigmatid mites: an ever-present threat to barrier rodent facilities. Watson, J.  ILAR J. 49(3) Jun 2008 pp. 303-309.

  • Temperature variations recorded during interinstitutional air shipments of laboratory mice.  Syversen E, Pineda FJ, Watson J. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2008 Jan;47(1):31-6.

  • A survey of rodent-borne pathogens carried by wild-caught Norway rats: a potential threat to laboratory rodent colonies.  Judith D Easterbrook, JB Kaplan, GE Glass, J Watson and SL Klein. Laboratory Animals 2008 (42) p.92-98.

Invited Talks 2008- 2009

  • National AALAS: Denver, Co, Nov 9-12, 2009. 

o    Seminar Leader and Faculty: The Changing Face of Infectious Disease in Modern Mouse Facilities. With Charles Clifford, William Shek, Cory Brayton, Nov 9.

o    Workshop Coleader/ Faculty: Scientific Editing Workshop With Sarah Poynton Nov 11.

o    Poster: Medicated diet eradicated Helicobacter sp. from mice deficient in functional natural killer cells and complement factor D.Maria del Carmen Martino-Cardona, Sarah E. Beck, Cory Brayton, Julie Watson. Winning Poster:  Laboratory Investigations 

o    Platform: Aquarium viewing significantly reduced stereotypic behavior in rhesus macaques.  Dee Westerfeld Vaughn, Andrew Glenn, Julie Watson.

  • NCAB AALAS, National Harbor,DC Sept 2-3, 2009.Environmental Effects on Rodent Phenotype.

  • Johns Hopkins Phentoyping Core International Outreach.  Phenotyping For Functional Genetics.   Taiwan July 20-24, 2009. With Drs Brayton, Gabrielson, Forbes and Clifford.

  • NCRR. Detection, Impact and Control of Specific Pathogens in Animal Resource Facilities Workshop, Bethesda, MD, April 23-24, 2009. Genetic Background and its Effect on Rodent Phenotype.

  • JHU 4th Annual Rodent Phenotyping Symposium, March 3rd, 2009. Environmental Effects on Rodent Phenotype.

  • AALAS National Meeting Nov 2008.

o     Seminar: Behavioral Testing in Rodents. Role: leader and presenter.  Murphy S, Conour L, Dziedzic J, and Watson,J. Title: Impact of Environmental Variables on Behavioral Testing.

o     WorkshopScientific Writing for Techtalk:  Poynton, S and Watson, J.

o     Workshop: Scientific Writing for JAALAS & Comparative Medicine.  Poynton S and Watson J.

o     Platform:A comprehensive rodent quarantine system to jump-start research.Watson, J.

o     Poster: Modification of a Commercially Available Primate Foraging Device Significantly Reduces Food Waste.  Andrew Glenn, Shannon Murphy, Julie Watson.

o     Panel Discussion: Hints and Tips for Submitting articles to Comp Med, JAALAS and TechTalk. Role: moderator.

  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Mar 31 2008. Making a Dirty Facility Clean.

  • JHU 3rd Annual Phenotyping Symposium Feb 19, 2008.

o    Title: Environment and Phenotype:  Why is my phenotype different from theirs?


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