Photo of David M. Waitzman, M.D., Ph.D.

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

Emeritus Professor of Neurology
NPI Number:
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Outpatient Pavilion
Farmington, CT 06030-8051
Phone: 860-679-3540
Fax: 860-679-1390

Neuroscience Graduate Program

B.A.Johns Hopkins UniversityBiophysics
M.D., Ph.D.Mount Sinai School of Medicine of CUNYMedicine

Post-Graduate Training
InternshipPresbyterian Medical Center of PhiladelphiaInternal Medicine
ResidencyUniversity of California at San FranciscoNeurology
FellowshipNational Eye InstituteNeuro-Ophthalmology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Top Doctor (Top 1%) 2019/Top Regional Doctor 2019Castle Connolly
Top Doctor (upper 1%) 2018Castle Connolly
Most Compassionate Doctor 5 Year Honoree 2013 - 2018Castle Connolly
Top Doctor (upper 1%) 2017Castle Connolly
Top Doctor (upper 1%) 2016Castle Connolly
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

I see patients with Neuro-Ophthalmologic problems, in other words patients in which the illness presents with visual symptoms but the actual disease process targets the brain. Common examples include patients with Pseudotumor Cerebri, Optic Neuritis, Diplopia (double vision), Myasthenia Gravis, Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, and optic nerve damage secondary to lesions located at the optic chiasm, e.g., pituitary adenomas.

Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
UCHC Faculty Review Board Appeals CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity20102016
UCHC Medical School: MD/PhD Admissions CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity20032011
North American Neuro Ophthalmology Society (NANOS)- member attending the yearly national meeting.Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational20002019
UCHC Animal Care CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity19912014
VA Animal Care CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19911997
American Academy of NeurologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19832019
Society for NeuroscienceProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1977
UCHC Academic CouncilEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity
UCHC IRPAC CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberUConn HealthUniversity
UCHC Research Sub-committeeResearch CommitteeChairmanUConn HealthUniversity
VA Research and Development CommitteeProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
North American Neuro-Ophthalmologic Society (NANOS)Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational

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.

Research opportunities in studying patients with genetic causes of Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension (IIH). Other research areas include clinical aspects of patients with IgG4 disease of the brain and neural characteristics of young patients with Behcet's disease

Not accepting students for Lab Rotations at this time

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Oculomotor Systems and Control
    David Waitzman, MD, PhD; Conn's Translational Neuroscience 2017 Dec;Chapter 20
  • Encyclopedia of the Human Brain
    Waitzman D.M., Oliver D.L. The Midbrain 2002 Jan;43-68
  • Projections from the superior colliculus to a region of the central mesencephalic reticular formation (cMRF) associated with horizontal saccadic eye movements.
    Cohen, B; Büttner-Ennever, J A Experimental brain research 1984 Jan;57(1):167-76
  • Horizontal Saccades and the Central Mesencephalic Reticular Formation
    Cohen, B., Waitzman, D. M., Buttner-Ennever, J. A., Matsuo, V. Progress in Brain Research 243-256
  • The Central Mesencephalic Reticular Formation – Role in Eye Movements
    Waitzman, D.M. Encyclopedic Reference of Neuroscience
  • The Discharge of Some Extraocular Motoneurons is Related to Dynamic Motor Error During Visually Guided Saccades
    Waitzman, D.M., Silakov, V.L. Contemporary Oculomotor and Vestibular Research: A Tribute to David A. Robinson 241-243

Case Reports

Conference Papers



  • Thought to Action: Development of Temporal Signals from Topographic Maps
    Waitzman, D.M., Cromer, J.A. Physiology News (66):


  • Burst Neurons in the Mesencephalic Reticular Formation (MRF) of the Rhesus Monkey Associated with Saccadic Eye Movements
    Waitzman, D.M. Doctoral Thesis, City University of New York


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Kids with Sixths and Other Oculomotor DeficitsLectureHartford Hospital/Neurology Grand Rounds2018Hartford Hospital JB118
“Ticks Go Nuts: Uni- and Bilateral Visual Loss”Lecture2017Hartford Hospital, CT
Twists and Turns of Cranial Neuropathy in MelanomaLectureHartford Hospital/Neurology Grand Rounds2016Hartford Hospital, CT
Painful Ophthalmoplegia: “Not everything that meets the eye is as it appears!”LectureHartford Hospital/Neurology Grand Rounds2015Hartford Hospital, CT
“Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)” Graduate Students Course: Molecular Mechanisms of Neurobiological Disorders (MEDS 5385), UCHCLectureDept of Neuroscience, Richard Mains, PhD2015UCHC
Central DilemmasLectureNeurology Grand Rounds2014Hartford Hospital, CT
“Optic Nerve Head Quandaries” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2013Hartford, Connecticut
“Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: Clinical and Research Aspects” Graduate Students Course: Molecular Mechanisms of Neurobiological Disorders (MEDS 5385), UCHCLectureGraduate School, Richard Mains, PhD2013Dept Neuroscience Conf Rm, UCHC
“Biological Warfare in Neuro-Ophthalmology: Sarcoidosis and Devic’s Neuromyelitis Optica”: Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2012Hartford, Connecticut
”Swollen Nerves: Under Pressure Yet?” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2011Hartford, Connecticut
”The World is Shaking and this Ain’t no Earthquake”, Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2010Hartford, Connecticut
“When Up and Down Don’t Work: Think Tauopathy” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2009Hartford, Connecticut
“Acute Visual Loss – What a Pain” and ”Swollen Nerves: Under Pressure Yet?”LectureConnecticut Optometric Association (COA)2008Farmington, Connecticut
“If He Can’t Read Maybe a Pet Will Help” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2008Hartford, Connecticut
“Neuronal Evidence for Individual Eye Control in the Primate cMRF”LectureEducation Centre, Charing Cross Hospital2007London, England
“Role of MRF in Head and Eye Control”LectureGordon conference on oculomotor physiology, Bates College2007Lewiston, Massachusetts
“Uveal Masquerades: Painful and Painless” Neurology Grand RoundsTalkHartford Hospital2007Hartford, Connecticut
“Controlling the Horizontal and the Vertical. How the Brain Stem Gets it Straight” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2006Hartford, Connecticut
“Comparison of PPRF and MRF Burst Neurons in Eye Control”PosterGordon conference on oculomotor physiology, Bates College2005Lewiston, Massachusetts
“Double Trouble” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2005Hartford, Connecticut
“The Pupil, When to Worry”LectureNew England Ophthalmological Society2004Boston, Massachusetts
“Post-Traumatic Visual Syndrome” Neurology Grand RoundsLectureHartford Hospital2004Hartford, Connecticut
“Diplopia for the General Ophthalmologist” Ophthalmology Grand RoundsLectureThe University of Connecticut Health Center2004Farmington, Connecticut
“Visual Problems in Multiple Sclerosis”LectureKeynote Speaker, Multiple Sclerosis Society2004Marriott Hotel, Connecticut
“Advances in Neuro-Ophthalmology”LectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center2004Farmington, Connecticut
“Post-Traumatic Visual Syndrome: Where’s the Locus or Just Hocus Pocus” LectureNeuro-Psychology Society of Connecticut2004New Britain, Connecticut
“Different Shades of Color”LectureConnecticut Society of Eye Physicians2003Southington, Connecticut
“Different Shades of Color”LectureCogan Eye Society2003Boston, Massachusetts
“Beyond Devic’s: Immune Mediated Optic Neuropathy”: Neurology Grand Rounds LectureHartford Hospital2002Hartford, Connecticut
“Stopping the Head Following Gaze Movements”LectureAmerican Neurological Association2002New York, New York
“The Contribution of the Superior Colliculus and the Mesencephalic Reticular Formation to Gaze Control”LectureNY Academy of Sciences2001Cleveland, Ohio
Systemic Illness: Pseudotumor Cerebrii LectureNew England Council of Optometry1998Providence, Rhode Island
Functional Visual LossLectureNew England Council of Optometry1998Providence, Rhode Island
"Midbrain Disorders of Eye Movements"LectureNorth American Neuro-Ophthalmologic Society1997Keystone, Colorado
Pituitary Tumors: Neuro-Ophthalmologic AspectsLectureThe University of Connecticut Health Center1996Farmington, Connecticut
Pituitary Tumors, Neuro-Ophthalmologic AspectsLectureUniversity of Connecticut Health Center1995Farmington, Connecticut