Dr Kenneth Watson

Emeritus Professor - School of Science and Technology

Kenneth Watson

Phone: +61 2 6773 3125

Email: kwatson2@une.edu.au



Coordinator for the Centre for Bioactive Discovery in Health & Ageing.

My career has included positions in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University (Melbourne), Warwick University (UK), James Cook University (Townsville), Labatts Brewing (Canada) and I have been at the University of New England since 1985. I am currently Professor of Microbiology in the School of Science & Technology. I was awarded the University Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year 2000.


BSc (Hons) (Chemistry), PhD (Applied Microbiology) (University of Strathclyde)

Teaching Areas

MICR220 Introductory Microbiology
MICR350 Clinical Microbiology and Virology
HHSC384 The Biology of Human Ageing
HSNS284 Medical/Surgical Nursing and Health Science II
HHSC243 Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
HUMN240 Issues in Human Nutrition I
HUMN340 Issues in Human Nutrition II

Research Interests

Research interests are in the Biology of Human Ageing, particularly the roles of stress proteins and the efficacy of antioxidants in combating free radical damage in human cells. Research is also concentrated on the isolation and characterization by biochemical and molecular techniques of novel Antarctic microbes and on protection against UV damage in cells by antioxidants and natural products. The isolation and characterization of novel bioactive compounds from Australian native plants is another area of research activity.


Selected publications

Book chapters

Jones G.L., Smith J.E. and Watson K., Bioactive properties of native Australian medicinal plants, Advances in Medicinal Plant Research, Acharya, S.N. and Thomas J.E. (eds), Research Signpost, pp. 257-286, 2007.

Agnew L. and Watson K., Detection of stress proteins as biomarkers of oxidative stress, Current Protocols in Toxicology, Maines M. (ed.), Wiley, New York, 17.8.1-17.8.26, 2006.

Peng J., Jones G.J., Boyle G.M., Parsons P., Piva T. and Watson K., Stress response of human cell lines to ultraviolet B radiation, Free Radical Research, Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pathophysiological Implications, Galaris D. (ed.), Medimond, Bologna, pp. 79-84, 2003.


Matthias A., Addison R.S., Agnew L.L., Bone K.M., Watson K. and Lehmann R.P., Comparison of Echinacea alkylamide pharmacokinetics between liquid and tablet preparations, Phytomedicine, 14: 587-590, 2007.

Smith J., Tucker D., Watson K. and Jones G.L., Identification of antibacterial constituents from the indigenous Australian medicinal plant Eremophila duttonii F. Muell. (Myoporaceae), Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112: 386-393, 2007.

Agnew L.L., Guffogg S.P., Matthias A., Lehmann R.P., Bone K.M. and Watson K., Echinacea intake induces an immune response through altered expression of leucocyte hsp70, increase white cell counts and improved erythrocyte antioxidant defences, J. Clinical Pharm. Therapeutics, 30: 363-369, 2005.

Guffogg S., Thomas-Hall S., Holloway P. and Watson K., A novel psychrotolerant member of the hymenomycetous yeasts from Antarctica: Cryptococcus watticus sp. nov., International J. Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 54: 275-277, 2004.

Khodr B., Howard J., Watson K. and Khalil Z., Effect of short-term and long-term antioxidant therapy on primary and secondary ageing neurovascular processes, Journal of Gerontology, 58A: 698-708, 2003.

Agnew L., Kelly M., Howard J., Jeganathan S., Batterham M., French R.A., Gold J. and Watson K., Altered lymphocyte heat shock protein 70 expression in patients with HIV disease, AIDS, 7: 3-6, 2003.

Rao D.V., Boyle G., Parsons P., Watson K. and Jones G., Influence of ageing, heat shock treatment and in vivo total antioxidant status on gene-expression profile and protein synthesis in human peripheral lymphocytes, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 124: 55-69, 2003.