Meet Toxicologist David Walker, Ph.D.

David Walker, Ph.D., joined the Duke Toxicology Program in October. He earned his doctorate in toxicology and nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993.

Where were you working previously? What was your role there?

I worked as a research scientist in the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology from 1996 to 2018. We studied biologic sex and age differences in the brain responses to psychoactive drugs. I worked as a postdoctoral associate in the Dept. of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1994 to 1996. Here I learned to measure subsecond changes in brain neurotransmitters using electrodes.

Why did you choose to join Duke Community & Family Medicine?

I chose to join this group to develop expertise in toxicology and risk assessment.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses on demonstrating that both gonadal hormone levels and developmental stage of the brain can predispose subpopulations to greater neurotoxic effects following chemical exposures.

Are there any major research grants you have been a part of or are currently working on?

I was PI on a NIH grant to study adolescent vulnerability.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My hobbies include family, tennis, biking and fishing.