Diana Waters, MD

Diana Waters

Undergraduate School
Northern Arizona University 

Medical School
Duke University School of Medicine 


Interests and Career Goals

Clinically, I am interested in geriatric psychiatry and would like to pursue a fellowship following residency. I love hearing stories from older people and using my medical training to create psychiatric plans that consider their often-numerous medical conditions. Research-wise, I am interested in the circuitry underlying mood disorders. I would like to put these two interests together to develop circuit modifying interventions that minimize the cognitive side effects commonly seen in the elderly.

Favorite Pastimes

I love spending my free time with my partner and our dog. I also enjoy hobbies that allow me to be creative and make functional pieces I can use/give to others (knitting, crochet, ceramics).

Strengths of the Program

The research track residency has incredible physician-scientist mentors, provides more dedicated research time than most other programs, and a generous stipend. I also greatly appreciate the strong medicine foundation built during intern year.

Prior Areas of Research

Prior to medical school, I worked as a lab technician for Dr. Elliott Mufson at Barrow Neurological Institute studying the pathological proteins that underlie Alzheimer’s Disease. In medical school, I work two full years in Dr. Kafui Dzirasa’s Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering at Duke studying reward and anxiety networks in a mouse model of bipolar disorder. As a Duke research-track resident, I am excited to continue my work with Dr. Dzirasa to better understand mood disorder circuitry.


  • Mufson, E. J., Mahady, L., Waters, D., Counts, S. E., Perez, S. E., DeKosky, S. T., Ginsberg, S. D., Ikonomovic, M. D., Scheff, S. W., & Binder, L. I. (2015). Hippocampal plasticity during the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience, 309, 51–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.03.006

Poster Presentation

  • Waters, D., Hughes, D., McClung, C., & Dzirasa, K. (2019, October 18). Developing a Behavioral Task to Assay Positive and Negative Valences in a Mouse Model of Bipolar Disorder [poster presentation]. Molecular Psychiatry Association 2019 National Meeting, San Francisco, CA.