Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

CSA Faculty


Lora Talley Watts, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/Research


University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2005


McDermott Building; Office 2.422
(210) 567-8186


Dr. Watts is a Assistant Professor-Research in the Departments of Cell Systems & Anatomy and Neurology and the Research Imaging Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She has over 10 years of experience in developing and implementing in vitro and in vivo methods to detect neurodegeneration and neuroprotection following stroke and traumatic brain injury.


Her specific interests are:

    1) assessment of neuroprotection and neurodegeneration in relation to stroke and traumatic brain injury;
    2) imaging techniques for in vivo assessment of stroke and traumatic brain injury; and
    3) behavioral assessment of functional recovery following stroke and traumatic brain injury.
The current focus of her laboratory is the assessment of methylene blue in the treatment of stroke and traumatic brain injury using a combination of innovative MRi imaging, behavioral and histochemical techniques. The success of her studies will provide novel targets for the development of neuroprotective treatments for patients that currently have limited treatment options following brain injury.
Dr. Watts participates in teaching the Dental Gross Anatomy course to first year Dental Students at UTHSCSA. The course focuses on the structure of the human body, with an overview of the trunk and emphasis on the head and neck regions. As a professor of this class, my role is to teach all laboratory sessions and give a portion of the lectures throughout the semester.
Recent Publications:
Lora Talley Watts, Ph.D. *, Justin Alexander Long*, Jonathan Chemello, Shiliang Huang, Ph.D., Qiang Shen, Ph.D., Timothy Q Duong, Ph.D. (2015) Delayed methylene blue improves lesion volume, multi-parametric quantitative MRI measurements, and behavioral outcome following TBI. Journal of Neurotrauma (in press Aug 2015) doi:10.1089/neu.2015.3904


Lora Talley Watts, Ph.D. *, Justin Alexander Long*, Hemanth Manga, Shiliang Huang, Ph.D., Qiang Shen, Ph.D., Timothy Q Duong, Ph.D. (2015) Normobaric oxygen worsens outcome following mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2015.18 *-Authors contributed equally


Lora Talley Watts*, Qiang Shen, Shengwen Deng, Jonathan Chemello, Timothy Q Duong. (2015) Manganese-enhanced MRI in a controlled cortical impact model of mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma. 32(13): 1001-1010. doi:10.1089/neu.2014.3737. *Cover art work selected from my data set.


Watts LT, Lloyd R, Garling RJ, Duong T. Stroke neuroprotection: targeting mitochondria. Brain Sci. 2013 Apr 19;3(2):540-60.


Zheng W, Watts LT, Holstein DM, Prajapati SI, Keller C, Grass EH, Walter CA, Lechleiter JD. Purinergic receptor stimulation reduces cytotoxic edema and brain infarcts in mouse induced by photothrombosis by energizing glial mitochondria. PLoS One. 2010 Dec 22;5(12):e14401.


Shen Q, Du F, Huang S, Rodriguez P, Watts LT, Duong TQ. Neuroprotective efficacy of methylene blue in ischemic stroke: an MRI study. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 21;8(11):e79833.


Muir ER, Watts LT, Tiwari YV, Bresnen A, Shen Q, Duong TQ. Quantitative cerebral blood flow measurements using MRI. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1135:205-11.


Fletcher L, Evans TM, Watts LT, Jimenez DF, Digicaylioglu M. Rapamycin treatment improves neuron viability in an in vitro model of stroke. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 4;8(7):e68281.


Representative Publications:
Talley Watts L, Long JA, Chemello J, Van Koughnet S, Fernandez A, Huang S, Shen Q, Duong TQ. Methylene blue is neuroprotective against mild traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1;31(11):1063-71.


Long JA, Watts LT, Chemello J, Huang S, Shen Q, Duong TQ. Multiparametric and longitudinal MRI characterization of mild Traumatic Brain Injury in rats. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Sep 9.


Watts LT, Rathinam ML, Schenker S, Henderson GI. Astrocytes protect neurons from ethanol-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic death. J Neurosci Res. 2005 Jun 1;80(5):655-66.