Gordon P. Watt, PhD


Gordon P. Watt, PhD

Gordon P. Watt

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PhD, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; BA, University of Texas at Austin

Current Research Interests

Dr. Watt’s research aims to identify novel markers of breast cancer risk and to understand the long-term risks of disease related to cancer treatment. The first area of investigation seeks to identify imaging features on mammogram and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that identify women with an increased risk of breast cancer. In particular, Dr. Watt is focused on a measure called background parenchymal enhancement (BPE), measured on MRI, which is a promising new marker of future breast cancer risk. He is now investigating whether BPE measured on contrast-enhanced mammogram, a more affordable modality than MRI, may also identify women with an increased risk of breast cancer. The second area of investigation concerns the health of survivors of pediatric and adult cancers. Previously, he worked with the WECARE Study collaborative team to show that the receipt of left-sided vs right-sided breast radiation therapy was associated with a more than 2-fold increased risk of subsequent coronary artery disease. Other work with the WECARE Study has identified genetic factors that increase the risk of radiation-associated second primary breast cancers after receiving radiation therapy for a first breast cancer. He recently received a Career Development Award from the Childhood Cancer Survivors Study to identify genetic factors that may increase the risk of second primary cancers among survivors of pediatric cancers.


Selected peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Watt GP, Sung J, Morris EA, Buys SS, Bradbury AR, Brooks JD, Conant EF, Weinstein SP, Kontos D, Woods M, Colonna SV, Liang X, Stein MA, Pike MC, Bernstein JL. Association of breast cancer with MRI background parenchymal enhancement: the IMAGINE case-control study. Breast Cancer Res. 2020 Dec 7;22(1):138. doi: 10.1186/s13058-020-01375-7. PubMed PMID: 33287857; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7722419.
  2. Watt GP, Knight JA, Nguyen TL, Reiner AS, Malone KE, John EM, Lynch CF, Brooks JD, Woods M, Liang X, Bernstein L, Pike MC, Hopper JL, Bernstein JL. Association of contralateral breast cancer risk with mammographic density defined at higher-than-conventional intensity thresholds. Int J Cancer. 2022 Oct 15;151(8):1304-1309. doi: 10.1002/ijc.34001. Epub 2022 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 35315524; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9420749
  3. Watt GP, Knight JA, Lin C, Lynch CF, Malone KE, John EM, Bernstein L, Brooks JD, Reiner AS, Liang X, Woods M, Nguyen TL, Hopper JL, Pike MC, Bernstein JL. Mammographic texture features associated with contralateral breast cancer in the WECARE Study. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Nov 29;7(1):146. doi: 10.1038/s41523-021-00354-1. PubMed PMID: 34845211; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8630158.  
  4. Watt GP, Reiner AS, Smith SA, Stram DO, Capanu M, Malone KE, Lynch CF, John EM, Knight JA, Mellemkjær L, Bernstein L, Brooks JD, Woods M, Liang X, Haile RW, Riaz N, Conti DV, Robson M, Duggan D, Boice JD Jr, Shore RE, Tischkowitz M, Orlow I, Thomas DC, Concannon P, Bernstein JL. Association of a Pathway-Specific Genetic Risk Score With Risk of Radiation-Associated Contralateral Breast Cancer. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Sep 4;2(9):e1912259. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.12259. PubMed PMID: 31560388; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6777239.  
  5. Carlson LE*, Watt GP*, Tonorezos ES, Chow EJ, Yu AF, Woods M, Lynch CF, John EM, Mellemkjӕr L, Brooks JD, Knight JA, Reiner AS, Liang X, Smith SA, Bernstein L, Dauer LT, Cerviño LI, Howell RM, Shore RE, Boice JD Jr, Bernstein JL. Coronary Artery Disease in Young Women After Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer: The WECARE Study. JACC CardioOncol. 2021 Sep;3(3):381-392. doi: 10.1016/j.jaccao.2021.07.008. eCollection 2021 Sep. PubMed PMID: 34604798; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8463731.
    *co-first authors 

View a full listing of Gordon P. Watt’s journal articles.


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Gordon P. Watt discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

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