Cheryl Lyn Walker, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT), was named a 2015 “Women on the Move” award recipient by Texas Executive Women (TEW). The award recognizes the business and civic achievements of ten top female leaders across the Houston area.

“The selection process was especially challenging this year because we received a record number of applications and the candidate pool was exceptional,” said Shira Yoshor, 2015 Women on the Move representative.

As the Director of the Texas A&M IBT, Walker has advanced the research environment across the university, and extended the Texas A&M impact in the Texas Medical Center. Her notable achievements include leading Texas A&M’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Science known as the Center for Translational Environmental Health Research (CTEHR); bringing the TAMHSC into the Gulf Coast Consortium; recruiting world-class faculty who, among other initiatives, established the Texas Screening Alliance for Cancer Therapeutics (TxSACT) and a “Field-to-Clinic” initiative in disease prevention at the IBT; shepherding the development of two centers of research excellence in which faculty from across The Texas A&M System now participate, CTEHR and Texas OneGulf, the Texas RESTORE Act center for gulf research.

Walker has a Ph.D. in cell biology from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on how both genes and environmental exposures cause cancer, and has garnered substantial recognition, including the 2010 Cozzarelli Prize for Biological Sciences from the National Academy of Sciences and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Distinguished Scientist Award from Texas A&M. Walker is a past-president of both the 7,000-member Society of Toxicology and Women in Cancer Research of the American Association for Cancer Research, and is an elected member of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Walker will be honored during the TEW’s 30th annual Women on the Move Awards Luncheon on November 12 in Houston.

Founded in 1979, TEW is a 501(c)(3) membership-based, nonprofit organization with a mission to support programs that recognize, develop and fund the advancement of women and teenage girls in Greater Houston.

— Lauren Thompson

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