Professor John Watson AM - Biography

Page last updated: 07 November 2017



Professor John Watson AM has been Senior Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of NSW since September 2018, providing senior strategic advice to the Dean on all aspects of Clinical Affairs within the Faculty, driving key projects in alignment with UNSW 2025 strategy, and providing senior academic leadership and expertise across the Faculty.

He is also Deputy National Secretary, The Rhodes Scholarships Australia, sharing the support of 8 Selection Committees, with more than 180 applicants Australia-wide in 2018). He is a Director of Rhodes Scholarships in Australia Pty Ltd (tasked with fundraising to recapitalise the Australian Rhodes Scholarships). He was elected Rhodes Scholar for New South Wales in 1977 and graduated from Oxford University in 1981 with the DPhil in Neurophysiology.

Prior to commencing at the University of NSW, Professor Watson was an academic clinician at the University of Sydney for 25 years. He is a Consultant Neurologist at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai, Sydney Adventist and The Mater Hospitals, and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. For six years he served as Chair of the University of Sydney’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and has served on various NHMRC and Commonwealth Department of Health subcommittees and panels. In 2014 he was awarded the University of Sydney MD, a higher research degree, for his collected scientific work over three decades.

In 2011 Professor Watson established and headed Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, Sydney Medical School’s newest Clinical School and the only fully-fledged clinical school in NSW operating within a private hospital setting: the first class of medical students graduated in 2015. He continues to serve as a Director of Adventist HealthCare Limited, and Chair of the Sydney Adventist Hospital Medical Advisory Committee.

In 2015, Professor Watson was honoured as Member of the Order of Australia in its General Division ‘for significant service to medicine in the field of neurology, to medical education and administration, and through mentoring roles.’