John R Gilstad


Captain, Navy

Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Location: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
global health engagement
Office Phone


United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 1987
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 1993


John Gilstad, MD graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 with a BS in English and earned his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 1993. He completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland in 1996, and fellowship in Geriatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore in 2002.

Dr. Gilstad served in clinical roles at Naval facilities in Puerto Rico and Japan, and in leadership roles at Naval research stations in Singapore and Egypt, and at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Gilstad practices geriatrics and supports research in the graduate medical education programs of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and is the principal investigator on a study of hand hygiene in rural hospitals in Liberia.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

Director, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute 2018-2019

Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Research Unit 3, Cairo Egypt 2014-2016

Executive Office, Naval Medical Research Unit 2, Singapore 2012-2014

Chair, Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, US Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan 2007-2009

Navy Delegate to Young Physicians Section, American Medical Association 2002-2005

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar 1989-1991


Gilstad JR, Skinner WK, Robb DJ. Letter in response to Gale RP and Armitage JO. Are we ready for nuclear terrorism? N Engl J Med 2018;378:1246-54.

Miller AC, Gilstad JR, Brenner DJ. Military Global Health Engagement and low dose ionizing radiation. Military Medicine 2017;182(9/10):1677-9

Gilstad JR and Finucane TE. Science and marketing: the promotion of donepezil in the primary research literature. In Ballenger JF, Whitehouse P, Lyketsos C, Rabins P, and Karlawish J, Treating Dementia: Do We Have a Pill For It? Hopkins University Press 2009

Gilstad JR, Gurbel PA, and Andersen RE. Relationship between age and platelet activation in patients with stable and unstable angina. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2009;48(2):155-9

Gilstad JR and Finucane TE, Results, rhetoric and randomized trials; the case of donepezil. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2008 Aug; 56(8):1556-62

Finucane TE and Gilstad JR. Should cholinesterase inhibitors be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease? Nature Clinical Practice Neurology 2006;2(3):118-119

Gilstad J and Reich SG. Chorea in an octogenarian. Neurologist 2003;9(3):165-6