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Curtin Professor awarded rare recognition

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Curtin University’s Professor Charles Watson has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by The University of Sydney. 

The degree is rarely awarded and is given in recognition of a large body of research done in a particular field.

Professor Watson was awarded the degree for his thesis, titled Brain Mapping, which consisted of a book, and selected papers and book chapters from various stages of his more than 40-year career.

His research is in the field of neuroanatomy, and he is widely known for his atlas on the mapping of the rat brain, first published in 1982. 

The atlas has become the most important anatomical tool in neuroscience and the most cited work in the field, cited more than 56,000 times.

Professor Watson is now focusing his mapping work on gene expression during development and cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques.

Curtin’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences Professor Jill Downie, said the degree was a significant achievement which few academics accomplished in their research career.

“Professor Watson, who was named a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2010, is one of the world’s leading neuroanatomists,” Professor Downie said.

“His outstanding work and commitment to research have contributed significantly to progress the field of neuroscience.”

Professor Watson said he was delighted to receive the degree of Doctor of Science from the university in which he had completed his first two degrees in science and medicine.

“It is an honour to receive the degree for the research I have passionately undertaken throughout my professional and academic career,” Professor Watson said.

Since stepping down from the position of Dean of Health Sciences at Curtin in 2006, Professor Watson has authored 11 major books, 27 book chapters and 25 peer reviewed research articles, most as either first or last (senior) author.


Kristy Jones, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Email:

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