Physician Profile

David M. Waitzman, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Neurology
Office Locations:

UConn Health
Outpatient Pavilion, 5th Floor
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030

Board Certifications:
  • Neurology
Education and Training:
Undergraduate SchoolJohns Hopkins UniversityBiophysics
Medical SchoolMount Sinai School of Medicine of CUNYMedicine
InternshipPresbyterian Medical Center of PhiladelphiaInternal Medicine
ResidencyUniversity of California at San FranciscoNeurology
FellowshipNational Eye InstituteNeuro-Ophthalmology
Honors and Awards:
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Top Doctor 2015Castle Connolly
Top Doctor 2014Castle Connolly
Top Doctor 2013Castle Connolly
Patients’ Choice Award 2012Castle Connolly
Top Doctor 2012Castle Connolly
Top Doctor 2011Castle Connolly
Most Compassionate Doctor 2011Castle Connolly
Employee of the MonthUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
David S. Frederick, M.D. AwardUniversity of Connecticut School of Medicine
Hospital Affiliation:
  • UConn John Dempsey Hospital
Research Interests:

1) Oculomotor system, control of rapid eye movements by the central Mesencephalic Reticular Formation (cMRF) and its relationship to the superior colliculus.

2) Oculomotor system: control of fixation.

3) Gaze system: Contribution of the cMRF to the control of gaze.

4) Models of the oculomotor system. Behavioral, neurochemical, and neurophysiologic techniques are used to explore how cells in the cMRF, which have reciprocal, topographic projections to the superior colliculus, participate in the control of combined head and eye movements (i.e., gaze). Our current hypothesis is that the cMRF participates in a decomposition of the gaze signal originating from the superior colliculus into separate head and eye streams. Single neuron electrophysiology, gaze (eye re: head) and head (re: space) movement measurements are used to examine whether the reticular formation carries signals about the current position, velocity, or acceleration of the head or eyes to the superior colliculus, Pontine Reticular Formation (PPRF) or cervical spinal cord. Reversible and irreversible lesions within the reticular formation are utilized to characterize its role in oculomotor control. Antidromic stimulation is used to confirm the target structures of reticular formation neuronal activity. These techniques provide data to model how the reticular formation might participate in gaze control. Future projects include correlation of neck EMG activity with the activity of neurons in the cMRF.

Selected Publications:

Peer Reviewed Publications

Oculomotor Systems and Control. David Waitzman, MD, PhD; . (2016). Conn's Translational Neuroscience, Chapter 19.

Vergence neurons identified in the rostral superior colliculus code smooth eye movements in 3D space. Van Horn, Marion R; Waitzman, David M; Cullen, Kathleen E. (2013). The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 17, (33), 7274-84.

Anatomical evidence for interconnections between the central mesencephalic reticular formation and cervical spinal cord in the cat and macaque. Warren, Susan; Waitzman, David M; May, Paul J. (2008). Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), 2, (291), 141-60.

Neuronal evidence for individual eye control in the primate cMRF. Waitzman, David M; Van Horn, Marion R; Cullen, Kathleen E. (2008). Progress in brain research, (171), 143-50.

Comparison of saccade-associated neuronal activity in the primate central mesencephalic and paramedian pontine reticular formations. Cromer, Jason A; Waitzman, David M. (2007). Journal of neurophysiology, 2, (98), 835-50.