Karol E. Watson, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine/Cardiology and a board-certified, fulltime cardiologist at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She holds the John C. Mazziotta Term Chair in Medicine and was honored to be named Cardiologist of the Year, by the California chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in 2017. Dr. Watson received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School, magna cum laude, and her PhD in Physiology from UCLA. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at UCLA, and continued there as part of the UCLA Specialty Training and Academic Research program and as Chief Fellow in Cardiovascular Diseases at UCLA.
Currently, Dr. Watson is director of the UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program at UCLA, CoDirector of the UCLA Program in Preventative Cardiology, and director of the UCLA Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Diseases.
Dr. Watson contributes nationally on a number of fronts as well. She is a Principal Investigator for several large NIH studies, and serves on several NIH Steering committees. She is currently chair of the Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Watson is past Vice President for the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC); and immediate past chairperson of the scientific advisory board for Womenheart, – the largest national organization for women living with heart disease. Dr. Watson has received many honors including “America’s Top Physicians” designation from Black Enterprise magazine, a Super Doctors designation from “Tu Ciudad” and “Los Angeles” magazines, and in 2010 she was awarded a “Red Dress Award” from Women’s Day magazine. Dr. Watson has been quoted in many papers, journals, and periodicals, including USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Woman’s Day, and Redbook magazines. She has appeared in interviews on Lifetime television, NBC News, and PBS, among others. Also, Dr. Watson was one of the physician hosts of the TLC television series “Guardian Angels, MD,” as well as an advisor to, and featured in the Emmy award-winning PBS series “The Mysterious Human Heart.”
The American Society of Hypertension recognizes Dr. Watson as a Specialist in Hypertension, she chairs the Cholesterol committee of the Association of Black Cardiologists, and serves on several committees and panels of the National Institutes of Health including serving on the NIH Expert Panel for the Integrated Clinical Guideline for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction. She is currently chairperson of the national advisory board for WomenHeart (a national organization dedicated to women with heart disease), a former member of the advisory board for the California Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program, and Chairperson of the FDA Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel.
Dr. Watson’s more than 100 publications and presentations have addressed many subjects including prevention of heart disease, vascular calcification, hormone replacement therapy, the metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and. cardiovascular disease in African Americans.