Dr David Watkins received a Bachelor of Science from Rhodes College and his medical degree from Duke University before moving to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he completed a residency in internal medicine. During this time, he also completed an MPH through the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation as well as a research fellowship in health economics with the Disease Control Priorities Network at the University of Washington. Dr Watkins currently serves as an academic physician based in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine at UCT and provides part-time consultation to the RhEACH project as a scientific advisor, spending about two months in Cape Town each year. His research seeks to inform the health system response to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Since rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a model NCD for LMIC health systems, his projects include burden of disease analysis, mixed methods research to identify gaps in healthcare delivery, and economic evaluation of RHD interventions and policies.