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Crystal R. Watson, DrPH

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

621 E. Pratt Street
Suite 210
Baltimore, Maryland 21230


Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

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DrPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2017
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
BA, University of Colorado, 2004


Dr. Watson is a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. Her policy research focuses on public health risk assessment, crisis and risk-based decision making during contamination emergencies, public health and medical preparedness and response, biodefense, and emerging infectious diseases. She also conducts research on the funding and management of biodefense and health security in the US federal government.

Since joining the Center in 2004, Dr. Watson has led a variety of projects and authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and reports, including an article published in Science on biological threat characterization and articles on risk assessment; federal decontamination plans for a wide-area biological attack; federal, state, and local medical response to Hurricane Katrina; and the National Hospital Preparedness Program. Dr. Watson also focuses on supporting national and global health security and was a member of the Center’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) team, which conducted an assessment of Taiwan’s capacities and capabilities under the International Health Regulations (IHR). Dr. Watson serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security.

  • public health and medical preparedness
  • risk assessment and management
  • crisis decision making
  • emergency response
  • CBRN events
  • global catastrophic biological risk
  • terrorism preparedness
  • emerging infectious diseases
  • policy and funding analysis

Select Publications

  • Watson CR, Watson M, Sell TK. Public Health Preparedness Funding: Key Programs and Trends from 2001 to 2017. Am J Public Health. 2017;17(S2):S165-S167. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303963.
  • Watson C, Watson M, Ackerman G, Gronvall GK. Expert Views on Biological Threat Characterization for the U.S. Government: A Delphi Study. Risk Analysis. 2017. doi:10.1111/risa.12787
  • Sell TK, Boddie (Watson) C, McGinty EE, Pollack K, Smith KC, Burke TA, Rutkow L. News Media Messages about Ebola and Their Implications for Risk Perception in the United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2017;23(1):108-111.
  • Adalja A, McGinty M, Sell TK, Boddie (Watson) C. Genetically Modified Mosquito Use to Reduce Mosquito-Transmitted Disease in the US: A Community Opinion Survey. PLOS Currents Outbreaks. 2016. Edition 1. doi: 10.1371/currents.outbreaks.1c39ec05a743d41ee39391ed0f2ed8d3.
  • Boddie (Watson) C, Watson M, Ackerman G, Gronvall GK. Assessing the Bioweapons Threat. Science. 2015;349(6250):792-793
  • Harnessing Technology to Address Global Catastrophic Biological Risks