University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Medicine

Cardiovascular Medicine

Bio for Matthew Watkins, M.D.
Matthew Watkins, M.D.

Matthew Watkins, M.D.

Professor of Medicine
Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine

Contact Information
Office Location:
Medicine-Cardiology, McClure Wing, 111 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401


Medical School - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests

Dr. Watkins has developed an angiogenic therapy program at the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care.  He has played a significant role in the early clinical development of therapeutic angiogenesis for the treatment of advanced coronary artery disease. His research program has included clinical trials in intracoronary delivery of the gene, FGF4 (fibroblast growth factor 4) that is designed to initiate an angiogenic response in chronically ischemic myocardium. The first intracoronary gene therapy treatment in the United States was performed at our institution with subsequent publication of the report of the initial phase one trial (AGENT I) demonstrating safety and preliminary efficacy of this treatment. A second multi-center investigation demonstrated a positive impact of FGF4 treatment on myocardial perfusion (AGENT 2). Dr. Watkins has also been involved in clinical trials investigating the angiogenic response to selective intramyocardial administration of VEGF-s (GENASIS) in patients with advanced coronary disease.

Over the past two years, Dr. Watkins has implemented Cardiac CT angiography (CTA) at our institution.  The clinical use of CTA has been established as a joint program with Radiology.  Research in this area has included a recent publication examining CTA accuracy and utility in comparison to cardiac catheterization, in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic.

Academic Appointments

Professor of Medicine
Director, Interventional Cardiology
Director, Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Training Program


Representative Publications From a Total of 49:

Malenka DJ, McGrath PD, Wennberg DE, Ryan TJ, Jr.,  Kellett MA, Shubrooks  SJ, Jr., Bradley WA, Hettlemen BD, Robb JF, Hearne MJ, Silver TM, Watkins MW, O’Meara JR, VerLee PN, O’Rourke DJ.  The relationship between operator volume and outcomes following percutaneous coronary interventions in high volume hospitals in 1994 –1996: The northern New England Experience.  Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group [see comments].  J Am Coll Cardiol 1999; 34:1471–1480.

Niles NW, McGrath PD, Malenka D, Quinton H, Wennberg D, Shubrooks SJ, Tryzelaar JF, Clough R, Hearne MJ, Hernandez F, Jr., Watkins MW, O’Connor GT.  Survival of patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary artery disease after surgical or percutaneous coronary revascularization:  results of a large regional prospective study.  Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001; 37:1008-1015.

Kabbani SS, Watkins MW, Ashikaga T, Terrien E, Holoch P, Sobel BE, Schneider DJ.  Platelet reactivity characterized prospectively: a determinant of outcome 90 days after percutaneous coronary intervention.  Circulation 2001; 104:181-186

Watkins MW, Kellett MA, Shubrooks SJ, Jr., Hettleman BD, Hearne MJ, Ver Lee PN, Schmitz JM, Ryan TJ, McGrath PD, Piper WE, Dauerman HL, Robb J, Malenka DJ.  Percutaneous coronary interventions in bypass grafts in Northern New England 1990 – 2000: Improved acute outcomes in the era of stents. Presented at AHA, Chicago, IL, 11/2002.

Grines C, Watkins MW, Helmer G, Penny W, Brinker J, Marmur J, West A, Rade JJ, Marrott P, Hammond HK, Engler RL.  Angiogenic gene therapy (AGENT) trial in patients with stable angina pectoris.  Circulation 2002; 105: 1291-1297.

Grines C, Watkins MW, Mahmarian JJ, Iskandrian AE, Marrott P, Pratt C, Kleiman N. A randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial of Ad5FGF-4 gene therapy and its effect on myocardial perfusion in patients with stable angina (AGENT 2). J Am Coll Cardiol 2003; 42:1339-1347.

Watkins MW, Rubanyi GM. Gene therapy for coronary artery disease: Preclinical and initial clinical results with intracoronary Ad5-FGF4 in Human gene therapy: Current opportunities and future trends edited by Rubanyi GM and Yla-Herttuala S. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2003, pp 173-188.

Teirstein PS, Kao J, Watkins M, Tannenbaum MA, Laufer N, Chang M, Mehran R. Dangas, G. Russell ME, Ellis SG, Stone GW.  Impact of platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibition on the paclitaxel-eluting stent in patients with stable or unstable angina pectoris or provocable myocardial ischemia (a TAXUS IV substudy).  Am J Cardiol 2005; 96:500-505.

Watkins MW, editor. Review in Depth: Cardiac computed tomography. Coron Artery Dis 2006; 17:99-130.

Watkins MW, Hesse B, Green CE, Greenberg  NL, Manning M, Chaudhry E, Dauerman HL, Garcia MJ.  Detection of coronary artery stenosis using 40-channel computed tomography with multi-segment reconstruction.  Am J Cardiol 2007; 99:175-181.