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Levi Watkins, MD

Professor of Surgery


  • Professor of Surgery

Centers & Institutes

  • Heart and Vascular Institute


Arrhythmia, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, Cardiac Care, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Defibrillators, Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy, Inherited Arrhythmia Disorders, Irregular Heartbeat, Sudden Cardiac Death, Surgery, Ventricular Arrhythmias

Research Interests

Automatic defibrillation


  • English

Additional Resources

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Nashville TN) (1970)


    • The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore MD) / Surgery (1978)
    • The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore MD) / Surgery (1972)


    • Harvard Medical School (Boston MA) / Physiology (1975)
  • Research & Publications +

    Selected Publications

    Watkins L Jr and Taylor E Jr: Surgery for the cardiac arrhythmias. The Johns Hopkins Manual of Cardiac Surgical Care. Susan Baxter (editor). Mosby-Year Book, Inc., St. Louis MO, 1994.

    Redmond JM, Greene PS, Goldsborough MA, Cameron DE, Stuart RS, Sussman MS, Watkins L Jr, Laschinger JC, McKhann GM, Johnston MV, Baumgartner WA: Cardiopulmonary bypass following stroke. Presented at the thirty-first Annual Meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Jan 30 - Feb 1, 1995, Palm Springs CA.

    Gillinov AM, Watkins L Jr, Calkins H, Ayd J, Schultheis L: Echocardiographic evidence of intracardiac gas during implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement and testing. December 4, 1996. (Abstract)

    Watkins L Jr and Taylor E Jr: Surgical treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. A Practical Approach to Cardiac Arrhythmias. Stephen C. Vlay (editor). Little, Brown & Company, Boston MA, 1996.

    Redmond JM, Greene PS, Goldsborough MA, Cameron DE, Stuart RS, Sussman MS, Watkins L Jr, Laschinger JC, McKhann GM, Johnston MV, and Baumgartner WA: Neurologic injury in cardiac surgical patients with a history of stroke. Ann Thorac Surg 1996;61:42-7.

    Davis EA, Greene PS, Cameron DE, Gott VL, Laschinger JC, Stuart RS, Sussman MS, Watkins L Jr, and Baumgartner WA: Bioprosthetic versus mechanical prostheses of aortic valve replacement in the elderly. Circulation 1996;94(suppl II):II-121-II-125.

    Tseng EE, Lee CA, Cameron DE, Stuart RS, Greene PS, Sussman MS, Watkins L, Gardner TJ, Baumgartner WA: Aortic valve replacement in the elderly. Risk factors and long-term results. Ann of Surgery. 225 (6): 793-802; discussion, 1997.

    Schwindinger WF, Fredericks J, Watkins L, Robinson H, Bathon JM, Pines M, Suva LJ, Levine MA: Coupling of the PTH PHHrP receptor to multiple G-proteins. Direct demonstration of receptor activation of Gs, Gq 11, and Gi(1) by alpha-32P GTP-gamma-azidoanilide photoaffinity labeling. Endocrine. 8(2): 201-9, 1998.

    Watkins Levi, Cornwell Edward: Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Arch Surg/Vol 138, Mar 2003.

    Watkins L, Pamies RJ, Hill GC, McNamee MJ, Colburn L: Diversity and the Health-Care Workforce; Multicultural Medicine and Health Disparities. McGraw-Hill 2006.
  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    A member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, Dr. Levi Watkins also has been honored at Vanderbilt, where he was awarded not only with a Vanderbilt Medal of Honor for outstanding alumni in 1998 but also with a Professorship and Associate Deanship established in his name in 2002 because of his work for diversity in medical education. In October 2005, his portrait was unveiled at Vanderbilts School of Medicine, honoring his lifes work and commitment to the institution.

    Dr. Watkins interest in worldwide human rights led him to initiate the annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in 1982. He has brought to the program many world leaders, including Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Harry Belafonte and Maya Angelou. Because of Dr. Watkins work in medicine and human rights, he has received honorary doctorate degrees from Sojourner-Douglass College, Meharry Medical College, Spelman College and Morgan State University. Dr. Watkins had been a visiting professor at numerous medical institutions around the world. In April 1993, his life and work were featured on PBS New Explorers program entitled A Dream Fulfilled. Two recently published books, African-American Medical Pioneers by Charles H. Epps Jr. and Noteworthy Publications by African-American Surgeons by Claude H. Organ Jr. M.D., feature his achievements.
  • Videos & Media +
  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    • Surgery - Cardiac Surgery

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