Benjamin K. Watkins, MD


Titles and Roles

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Director of Global Oncology Program
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Pediatric Oncologist
Pediatric Oncology
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Benjamin K. Watkins, MD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Watkins' clinical interest is in bone marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancies, graft-versus-host disease and late effects of transplant. Since 2015, he has become involved in international pediatric oncology.

Dr. Watkins is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.


Dr. Watkins completed his medical degree and pediatric residency from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. He completed a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine and a blood and marrow transplant fellowship at Seattle Children's Hospital and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. 


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Dr. Watkins' lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms driving GVHD and developing new approaches to prevent the disease.

One of the major barriers to the prevention and treatment of GVHD is a poor understanding of the mechanisms driving the disease. His group uses longitudinal immune profiling through flow cytometry and RNAseq to identify the pathways involved in the development of GVHD. The overall goal is to identify biomarkers of GVHD that are present before the appearance of the clinical symptoms so that prevention and treatment can be modified accordingly.

Dr. Watkins is the local principal investigator of multiple clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of acute and chronic GVHD.


Dr. Watkins has numerous first author publications and presentations at national meetings describing his work.

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