Donovan Watza

Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Donovan Watza


Education: Michigan State University, B.S. in Molecular Genetics/Genomics
Mentor: Dr. Ann Schwartz

Research Interests

Understanding the genetic and genomic features of lung tumors which predispose patients for differential outcomes to identify candidates for therapeutic intervention.  

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 – 2018 Ruth L. Kirschenstein Research Training Recipient (T32-CA009531), Wayne State University
  • 2016 Graduate Research Assistantship, Wayne State University
  • 2015 Medical Student Research Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • 2014 Medical Student Research Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • 2014 Board of Governors Full Tuition Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • 2012 Graduated with Honors, Lyman Briggs Michigan State University
  • 2012 Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Gerhardt Student Award, Michigan State University
  • 2008 – 2012 Dean's List, Michigan State University



  • Richards A.L., Watza D., Findley A., Alazizi A., Wen X., Pai A., Pique-Regi R., and Luca F. (2017). Environmental Perturbations Lead to Extensive Directional Shifts In RNA Processing. PLOS Genetics. 12;13(10): e1006995
  • Lusk C.M., Wenzlaff A.S., Dyson G., Purrington K.S., Watza D., Land S., Soubani A.O., Gadgeel S.M., and Schwartz A.G. (2016). Whole-exome sequencing reveals genetic variability among lung cancer cases subphenotyped for emphysema. Carcinogenesis; 37(2): 139-144.
  • Schwartz A.G., Lusk C.M., Wenzlaff A.S., Watza, D., Pandolfi S., Mantha L., Cote M.L., Soubani A.O., Walworth G., Wozniak A., Neslund-Dudas C., Ardisana A.A., Flynn M.J., Song T., Spizarny P.A., Kvale R.A.C. and Gadgeel S.M. (2016). Risk of Lung Cancer Associated with COPD Phenotype Based on Quantitative Image Analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(9): 1341-1347.
  • Moyerbrailean G.A., Richards A.L., Kurtz D., Kalita C.A., Davis G.O., Harvey C.T., Alaziz A., Watza D., Sorokin Y., Hauff N., Zhou X., Wen X., Pique-Regi R., and Luca F. (2016). High-throughput allele-specific expression across 250 environmental conditions. Genome Research; 12: 1627-1638.
  • Moyerbrailean G.A., Davis G.O., Harvey C.T., Watza D., Wen X., Pique-Regi R., and Luca F. (2015). A HighThroughput RNA-seq Approach to Profile Transcriptional Responses. Scientific Reports; 5: 14976.
  • Karnkowska A., Bennett M.S., Watza D., Kim J.I., Zakryś B., and Triemer, R.E. (2015). Phylogenetic Relationships and Morphological Character Evolution of Photosynthetic Euglenids (Excavata) Inferred from Taxon-rich Analyses of Five Genes. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol; 62: 362–373.