Professor David Watson is head of Surgery at Flinders University. He leads a multidisciplinary research group which is addressing oesophageal disease, has 317 publications, and received $21,518,189 in research funding. He pioneered the development of laparoscopic surgery and conducted 15 randomized trials, generating the world’s largest contribution to evidence supporting surgery for gastro-oesophageal reflux. He is now addressing oesophageal cancer by leading a multistate consortium. Professor Watson’s has led national and international organisations. He is Secretary of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. He led the establishment of the Australia and New Zealand Gastric & Oesophageal Surgery Association and served as President until 2011. In 2003 he was awarded the John Mitchell Crouch Fellowship, the highest research award from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. In 2006 he received a prestigious James IV Travelling Fellowship. Internationally, he is leading Flinders University’s engagement with China with the establishment of a Cancer Genetics research laboratory in China.