Dr. Cheryl Lyn Walker is the director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health at Baylor College of Medicine, where she is a professor in the Departments of Molecular & Cell Biology and Medicine. She also currently directs the NIEHS Center for Translational Environmental Health Research, and serves on the board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering Committee on Gulf War and Health. Dr. Walker is an international leader in environmental carcinogenesis, and elucidating molecular mechanisms of disease. Her studies on the role of the epigenome in gene-environment interactions have yielded significant insights into mechanisms by which early life exposures influence health and disease across the life course. Her work has also led to the discovery of new tumor suppressor functions in the cell, and a dual role for the cell’s epigenetic machinery in regulating both chromatin and the cytoskeleton.
Dr. Walker earned her B.A. in 1977 from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and a Ph.D. in 1984 in Cell Biology from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, with additional post-doctoral training as a Staff Fellow at National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She has been recognized with the Dallas-Ft. Worth Living Legend Faculty Achievement Award in Basic Research from MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Cozzarrelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, the 2015 Outstanding Distinguished Scientist Award from Sigma Xi and the 2016 Leading Edge in Basic Research Award from the Society of Toxicology. Dr. Walker has been named a University Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University and is a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and the AAAS, and in 2016 was elected to National Academy of Medicine. She is a past-president the Society of Toxicology and has held numerous leadership and service positions on advisory boards for the Institute of Medicine, NCI, and other NIH Institutes.