Christopher D. Watters


Princeton University. M. A., Ph. D., Biology, 1964, 1966. Thesis Advisor: Robert D. Allen. University of Notre Dame. B. S. (cum laude), Biology, 1961. Thesis Advisor: Kenyon S. Tweedell.

Teaching and Research Experience:

Assistant Professor, 1968-1973; Associate Professor, 1973-1978; Professor, 1978-2008; Professor Emeritus, 2008-  ; Middlebury College.

Lecture/laboratory courses in cellular biology and developmental biology; advanced journal seminars in membrane biology, developmental and molecular genetics and immunology; First-Year and Intermediate Seminars on human nutrition (from an evolutionary perspective).

Visiting Professor, 2003-2004, Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Lecture/laboratory (undergraduate) course in cellular biology; intensive (MS) laboratory course in molecular biology; both con-jointly taught.

Visiting Scientist, Ion Channel Research Group, University of Vermont, Summer, Fall and Winter, 1993-1994; Summers, 1994, 1995; Summer, Fall and Winter, Summer, 1998-1999.

Laboratories of Drs. Joseph Patlak and Mark Nelson: patch-clamp studies of ion channels in mouse mammary cells for ion channels; real-time imaging of intracellular calcium ion concentrations in mammary cells; simulations of cellular diffusion phenomena.

Visiting Scientist, Departments of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry and Physiology, The Hannah Research Institute, Ayr, Scotland, 1986-1987.

Laboratories of D. W. West and D. Flint: phosphorylation of bovine milk fat globule and rodent Golgi membranes; immunological studies of the Golgi calcium pump.

Visiting Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Colorado Medical School, Summer, 1979, July, 1980 through July, 1981.

Laboratory of M. C. Neville: biochemical aspects of calcium transport during lactation.  Guest lecturer in Physiology, Child Health Associates Program.

Visiting Associate Professor, Dartmouth College, third quarter, 1975. Introductory lecture/laboratory course in cellular biology.

Visiting Scientist, Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge, England, 1973-1974.

Laboratory of I. M. Glynn: kinetic studies of the (Na+ + K+)- and Ca2+-activated ATPases of human red cells. Visiting Associate, Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

Research Associate, Cell Biology Program, University of Minnesota, 1966-1968.

Laboratory of M. D. Rosenberg: developmental and biophysical aspects of cellular adhesion.

Instructor, Princeton University, 1964-66: general biology.

Research Assistant, Princeton University, summers, 1962 (at MBL), 1964-66.

Laboratory of Robert D. Allen: cellular physiology of ameboid and other primitive motility systems; interference, polarization and electron microscopy.

Teaching Assistant, Princeton University, 1961-1962: general biology; 1962-1963: cellular physiology and vertebrate morphogenesis.

Research Assistant, University of Notre Dame, 1958-1961; summers, 1960/61, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

Laboratory of Kenyon S. Tweedell: cytochemistry of the Lucke carcinoma and (summers) selected invertebrate eggs. Senior Honors Thesis: Developmental Histology of the Amphibian Hypochord .

Recent Fellowships and Grants:

Fellowships: Fulbright Fellowship, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2003-2004. Davis Faculty Fellowship, Middlebury College, 1997-98.

Project Director:

2006-2009. Seeing the Data … and Beyond: Gordon Research Conference, Workshops, and Mini-Grants to Foster Visualization Research in Science and Education.  NSF-0634617.

2001-2005, An Imaging Facility to Enhance the Study of Cell and Molecular Biology. NSF-CCLI-0088412. 1985-87: Improvement of Laboratory Instruction in Biology.  NSF-CSI-8551282.

2003-2004: Improving High Contrast/Resolution Light Microscopy for Faculty and Student Research. Vermont Genetics Network.

Collaborating Investigator, 1993-94; 1994-95, 1998-99. How Does Calcium Enter Mammary Secretory Cells? And Is Oxytocin the Proximal Signal for Calcium Uptake? Research Opportunity Awards to study ion channels and cytosolic calcium in mouse mammary epithelial cells, associated with NSF-IBN 9019563 (Mark T. Nelson, Principal Investigator).


The Irene Heinz and John LaPorte Given Professorship in Premedical Sciences (Middlebury College), 1982-2008.  Emeritus: 2008-   .

Fulbright Award, Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2003 - 2004.

Robert E. Collins Award for Outstanding Service in Middlebury Recreation Programs, 1995, Town of Middlebury. Volunteer of the Year, 1997, Vermont Swim Association. Alan B. Cummings Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, 1997, Champlain Valley Swim Association.

Recent Professional Bibliography:

Abstracts/Papers Presented:

Watters. C. 2008.  Seeing the data … and beyond: Building a multidisciplinary community that creates, uses, and critiques Visualizations for teaching and research.  Opening presentation for NSF Workshop, Arlington, VA, 12 May.


Watters, C. 2006.  Seeing the data … and beyond!  A talk presented to an NSF Workshop on Visualization in Science and Education, Arlington, VA, 24-27 Sept.

Mahaffy, P. and C. Watters. 2005. Seeing and Understanding: Guiding Visualization Research in Science and Education. Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of Principal Investigators, NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources, Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication; Arlington VA, 8-9 December.

Watters, C., D. Guertin, D. Conache*, and D. Koparov*. 2005. Visualizing the Structure and Function of Integral Membrane Proteins. A poster presented to the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education, Queens College, Oxford University, 1-6 July 2005.

Koparov, D.*, D.S. Guertin and C.D. Watters. 2002. Modeling the structure and function of the Na and K pump using LightWave 3D. Mol. Biol. Cell. 13::413a. (also presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education, Queens College, Oxford University, 21 July 2003).

Fioretti, J.*, Y.S. Nevmyvaka*, J.B. Patlak, and C.D. Watters 1999. Investigating membrane structure and fluidity with computer simulations.  Mol. Biol. Cell. 10:200a.

Watters, C.D., Y.S. Nevmyvaka*, D.S. Guertin and J.B. Patlak 1998.   Investigating cellular diffusion with computer simulations.  Mol. Biol. Cell. 9:376a.

Watters, C. D., M. Nelson and J. Patlak 1994. Ion channels in the plasma membranes of murine mammary epithelial cells. Biophys. J. 66:A217.

Watters, C.D., T.J. Murphy* and J.L. Bass* 1990. Determination of cytoplasmic calcium concentrations in secretory cells isolated from lactating murine mammary glands using Fura-2. J. Cell Biol. 111:469a.

Watters, C.D., C. Seiler and E. Berry* 1990. Phosphorylation of plasma membranes from murine mammary glands. FASEB Journal. 4:349A. (also presented at the Gordon Conference on Mammary Gland Biology, 10-14 June, 1991).

Watters, C. D. and D. W. West 1988. Phosphorylation of Golgi membranes from lactating rat mammary glands. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 16:285.

Watters, C. D. and D. W. West 1987. Phosphorylation of bovine milk fat globule membranes. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 15:1127-1128.

* Middlebury College undergraduates.

Web Texts:

Watters, C. and Patlak, J. 2000. Lab Books Membrane Structure and Fluidity. at

Watters, C. 2000 - 2006. Studying Cell Biology.  A book of static and video problems. at

Patlak, J. and C. Watters 1998. Lab Books Diffusion, Osmosis and the Nernst Equation. at


DeSimone, S.M., W.P. Wimmer, and Watters, C.D. 2006. Experiments in Cell Biology. Middlebury. 72 pp.

Book Reviews and Essays:

Watters, C. "Video Views and Reviews". Periodic essays reviewing primary research articles and video records for Cell Biology Education, an on-line, peer-reviewed, quarterly publication of the American Society for Cell Biology, at

2006. The Bacterial Cytoskeleton. 5:306 - 310.


____. Neurulation and the Fashioning of the Vertebrate Central Nervous System. 5:99-103. 

2005. Gastrulation and the Fashioning of Animal Embryos. 4(4): 273-278.2002. 

____. Cytokinesis: a Phenomenon Overlooked Too Often. 4(1): 10-18. Reprinted in 2005 hard-copy Highlights issue of CBE.

2004. Creating a Thread with Respect to the Invasion of Animal Viruses. 3(4): 218-222.

____. Golgi Export, Targeting, and Plasma Membrane Caveolae. [Honoring George Palade on the Occasion of his Ninety-Second Birthday]. 3(3): 141-145;

____. Mitosis, Microfibers and Motility. 3(2):81-84;

2003. [Actin and the Gliding Behavior of Plasmodial Parasites, and the Role of Integrins in Regulating Lamellipodial Locomotion]. 2(4):210-213;

____. [Calcium Signaling and Phagocytosis in Neutrophils, Role of Calcium Signaling in Platelet Aggregation, and Actin Polymerization, Particle Streaming and Lamellipodial Locomotion. 2(3):137-140;

____. [Nuclear Dynamics and Localization Signals, Spindle and Chromosomal Movements during Mitosis, and Fibroblast Motility and Substrate Adhesiveness]. 2(1):9-13;

2002. [Apoptosis, Membrane Lipid Diffusion, and Mitosis and Early Development]. 1(4):111-114;

____. [Actin-Scaffolding Proteins, Membrane Ruffling and Endocytosis, and Integrin Functions]. 1(1): 9-10.

Watters, C. 2002. Tried, revised and tried again - a seasoned textbook for undergraduates. [Review of G. Karp's Cell and Molecular Biology. 3rd ed.] Cell Biology Education. 1(3):73-74. at

Watters, C. 2001. Essays on "Lipids." "Plasma Membranes." and "Membrane Structure." for Biology: Macmillan Science Library. 4 vols. R. Robinson, Ed.  Gale-Macmillian Reference USA.

Watters, C. 2000. Tried and tested - a textbook for undergraduates.  A review of G. Karp's Cell and Molecular Biology. 2nd ed. in Trends in Cell Biology. 10:259.

Other Recent Professional Activities:

Middlebury College, Chairman, Department of Biology, 1988-1991. Chair, Program in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 1992-1993; 2004-2005. Premedical Advisory Committee, 1977-1979, 1982-1984, 1995-2002; 2004-2005. Radiation Safety Officer, 1990-1998. Chair, Institution Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), 2003-2004. Member, Task Force on Faculty Resources, 2004-2005.  Institutional Coordinator, Vermont Genetics Network, 2005-2008.

Gordon Research Conferences on Visualization in Science and Education:  Organizer, Plenary Session on [seed] small project grants to further collaborative visualization research.  Magdalen College, Oxford, 2009.  Conference Co-Chair, Bryant University, RI, 2007. Conference Co-Vice-Chair, The Queens College, Oxford. 2005.

Sigma Xi-Vermont Chapter: Secretary, 1992-1998; Vice-President, 1998-2000; President, 2000-2003 . Member, Executive Committee, 1991-2005.

American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB):  Education Committee, 1994-2005.   Organizer/Facilitator, Educational Initiative Forum Presentations, ASCB annual meetings, 1996-2005. International Affairs Committee, 2005-   .  Organizer, 2007 -  . “Texts for Africa” Project, which to-date has sent more than 650 college-level texts and research monographs to approximately 110 colleges and universities in 14 African countries (through US Embassies).  Middlebury expenses underwritten by ASCB. 

Founding Member of the Editorial Board and Contributing Editor, Cell Biology Education and subsequently, CBE: Life Science Education, 2001-2008 at

NSF, peer reviewer, CAREER proposals, 1994-1996.

Technical Advisory Group (Biology), VT-EPSCoR (NSF), 1988-1990.

Committee of Examiners, GRE Biology. Educational Testing Service, 1988-1996; Chair, 1992-1996.

Committee of Examiners, GRE Biochemistry. Cell and Molecular Biology, Educational Testing Service, 2004-  ; Chair, Cell Biology Sub-Committee. 2006-  .

Reviewer/Consultant.  1999, Saunders Publishing Co. 2000, J. Wiley & Sons, Publishers.

Professional Societies (date of election):  American Society for Cell Biology (1966); Sigma Xi (1963).

Recent Community Service:

Co-Chair, United Way Campaign at Middlebury College, 1990-1993.

Middlebury Recreation Department: member, Swim Team Advisory Board, 1988-1995; founding parent member, Middlebury Marlins Swim Team, 1989; Referee, dual meets, 1985-1997; Referee, [First] Middlebury Invitational Meet, 1994.

Champlain Valley Swim League: Middlebury Parent Representative, 1989-1993; Treasurer, 1990-1992; President, 1993-1996; Meet Director, CVSL Championship Meet, 1993.

Vermont Swim Association: founding member, 1990-1998; Vice-President for Programs, 1993-1995; Referee, [First] Winter Invitational Meet, 1996, [First & Second] All-Vermont High School Invitational Meet, 1996, 1997; Meet Director, Winter Invitational Meet, 1997, 2003.

US Swim Certified Referee, 1994-1998, 2003; Starter and Stroke&Turn Judge, 1987-1998, 2003.

NCAA Certified Referee/Starter/Stoke&Turn Official: duties at collegiate dual/state swim meets, 1991-  ; at Regional NCAA Meets (by invitation): Bowdoin College, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004; Williams College, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005; Wesleyan University, 1998; Middlebury College, 2006, 2010.