Kevin Michael Watt
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Watt’s career goal is to advance public health by integrating physiology and pharmacology into approaches for designing and conducting early-phase trials in critically ill children. His current efforts focus on the use of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation to understand drug disposition in children on extracorporeal life support. His research is supported by the NICHD-sponsored Pediatric Critical Care Scientist Development Program and a NICHD-sponsored Career Development Award. In addition, he is a principal investigator in the NICHD-sponsored Pediatric Trials Network where he leads multiple trials investigating the pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of drugs in children.

Current Research Interests

My overarching career goal is to advance public health by integrating physiology and pharmacology into approaches for designing, conducting, and interpreting early-phase trials in critically ill children. My research is supported by a NIH K23 Career Development Award and uses physiologically based pharmacokinetic models to optimize dosing in children on extracorporeal life support (ECMO). This research will be the first to establish antifungal dosing recommendations for children on ECMO and build a framework for the use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling in critically ill children. This approach will enhance our understanding of how critical illness influences drug disposition in the developing child. The skills I will acquire through my mentored career award are essential to achieve this goal and will enable me to develop as an independent, extramurally funded clinician scientist bridging critical care medicine and pediatric clinical pharmacology.

My scholarly accomplishments include 40 publications in competitive peer-reviewed journals within my first 5 years as faculty. In order to develop expertise in pediatric clinical pharmacology, I began a PhD program in pharmaceutical sciences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy during fellowship. I successfully defended my dissertation in 2016. In addition, I have led and continue to lead, single and multi-center studies for pediatric labeling including two PK trials of antifungal agents in critically ill children; trials of methadone, clindamycin, and atypical antipsychotics in special populations; and the first-in-children study of a novel antibiotic currently in development. I served as an advisor to the Office of Pediatric Therapeutics at the FDA and worked closely with the Office of Clinical Pharmacology using sophisticated modeling skills to integrate physiology and pharmacology in order to understand the mechanisms by which critical illness impacts drug disposition.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 300 West Morgan Street, Dumc#3850, Durham, NC 27701
  • Box 3951 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

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