After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Mount Alison University, Dr. Walker pursued a B.Ed. from Ottawa University and was subsequently employed as a board-certified high school chemistry teacher. After teaching for two years she began graduate work focused on cardio-respiratory physiology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Walker’s postdoctoral training in cell biology at Duke University focused on receptor signaling pathways; in particular those of G protein-coupled receptors. GPCRs are the largest family of cell surface receptors and are the target of more than half of all medically prescribed drugs.
Dr. Walker’s research, which focuses on understanding the cellular pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie lung disease (in particular asthma) has been independently funded since 2004, and she currently holds the Duke University rank of Associate Professor in Medicine. Currently, Dr. Walker’s research focus has expanded to include the study of novel β-2-adrenoceptor ligands in the treatment of asthma. This research holds great potential to rapidly improve quality of life for asthmatics.
Dr. Walker has published 33 peer-reviewed basic research and 3 review articles, and has been an invited speaker at various seminar forums within and outside Duke University. She has been recognized by her peers with ATS-sponsored awards such as the Ann Woolcock memorial and ATS Young Investigator awards.