Walker of M.D. Anderson named IBT director

July 14, 2011
Cheryl Walker

Dr. Cheryl Lyn Walker appointed director of IBT

Following a nationwide search, Cheryl Lyn Walker, Ph.D., has been appointed director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston, where she will establish a program in translational cancer research.

Along with the appointment, effective immediately, Dr. Walker will hold the endowed Welch Chair in Chemistry and a joint position as clinical professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Walker agree to join the faculty of the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and of the Texas A&M Health Science Center more broadly,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System. “With the support of the Welch Foundation through an endowed chair, I look forward to a continuation of outstanding research in the biochemical and environmental basis of cancer by Dr. Walker.”

During her most recent position as the Ruth and Walter Sterling Professor of Carcinogenesis at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Walker also held joint appointments with The University of Texas and Texas A&M University.

Dr. Walker has a Ph.D. in cell biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center (Southwestern Medical School) in Dallas. Her research covers the full scope of carcinogenesis and has resulted in an outstanding scientific reputation, noted by her 2010 Cozzarelli Prize for Biological Sciences from the National Academy of Sciences and the Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Achievement Award in Basic Research. She is a past-president of both the 6,000-member Society of Toxicology and the Women in Cancer Research of the American Association for Cancer Research. She was also elected a member of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.

Dr. Walker replaces David S. Carlson, Ph.D., TAMHSC vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, who served as interim director of the institute since 2008.

“The Institute of Biosciences and Technology has made significant advances with respect to strategic planning over the past three years,” Dr. Carlson said. “I am extremely happy that Dr. Walker will be the new director as I am confident that she will build on this base and lead the IBT to new heights in translational biomedical research and training.”

The TAMHSC-Institute of Biosciences and Technology is committed to improving the quality of health care through education and innovative molecular research in bioscience and medicine. The institute conducts basic research in cancer and stem cell biology, environmental and genetic medicine, infectious and inflammatory diseases, and genomic medicine.

— Blair Williamson