A Conversation With NIAMS Scientist Dr. Robert Walker, Jr.
Robert Walker, Jr., Ph.D., is chief of the Career Development and Outreach Branch in the NIAMS Intramural Research Program. He was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and completed his undergraduate studies with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Thereafter, he earned his doctorate in biomedical sciences (concentration in molecular parasitology) from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Walker completed his postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a secondary fellowship in technology transfer (NIH/NIAID). In addition to being chief of the Career Development and Outreach Branch, he serves as the NIAMS liaison for technology transfer and commercialization. In this interview, Dr. Walker discusses how his background in research helps him inspire the next generation of researchers.
Image: Robert Walker, Jr., Ph.D.
NEWS AND EVENTS
NIAMS Lupus Study Currently Recruiting Volunteers: Role of PPAR-y Agonists in Immunomodulation and Vascular Prevention in SLE
The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of a commonly used diabetes medication on lupus disease activity. Investigators are testing how this medication can improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation in people with lupus. If you have lupus, you may be interested in participating. All study-related tests, medications and procedures are provided at no cost to you. Learn more [PDF - 114 KB].
Current standards for ultrasound evaluation of fetal growth may lead to misclassification of up to 15 percent of fetuses of minority mothers as being too small, according to a study by researchers at the NIH and other institutions. The study, based on serial scans of more than 1,700 pregnancies, was published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
According to a special issue of the American Journal of Public Health, significant disparities in the burden of disease and illness experienced by different groups persist. The articles highlight the need for greater understanding of the relationship among social, cultural, biological, behavioral, economic and neighborhood (place) factors when addressing health disparities.
The Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research regularly convene a series of guest lectures and symposia on selected topics in the behavioral and social sciences. These presentations by prominent behavioral and social scientists provide overviews of current research on topics of scientific and social interest. All seminars are open to the public.
As part of the National Multicultural Outreach Initiative (NMOI), the NIAMS has created free multicultural health planners. The 2016 planners provide research-based health tips and information about staying healthy and managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. The four health planners, created with community input, are tailored for the following audiences:
- African Americans [PDF - 1,785 KB]
- American Indians/Alaska Natives/Native Hawaiians [PDF - 1,677 KB]
- Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders [PDF - 1,797 KB]
- Hispanics/Latinos (bilingual planner) [PDF - 1,570 KB].
Visit the NIAMS NMOI website to order your planners today!
Healthy Moments is a series of weekly radio episodes sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Healthy Moments features Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, the director of NIDDK, a renowned researcher on sickle cell anemia.
Each week, Dr. Rodgers offers tips on how to prevent and control diseases that are important to the community and NIDDK’s mission. NIAMS Director Dr. Stephen I. Katz joined recent episodes to discuss lupus and arthritis.
- What Is Lupus and Who Gets It? [Audio file]
- Recognizing Flares and Coping With Lupus [Audio file]
- Types of Arthritis [Audio file]
- Living With Arthritis [Audio file].
Image: NIAMS Director Dr. Stephen Katz (l) and NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin Rodgers record segments about lupus and arthritis for NIDDK’s Healthy Moments radio program.
The NIH has launched a Spanish-language health information website, Portal de Información de Salud de NIH. The web page offers free, evidence-based health information from across the NIH on topics ranging from child health to aging. The mobile-friendly site includes translations of many health articles from the NIH News in Health publication, popular for its clear and to-the-point content. Another element is information about clinical trials from the Clinical Research Trials and You website. The new site also features a monthly column called Ask Carla(Pregunta a Carla), designed as an opportunity for readers to learn about Spanish-language resources available from the NIH.
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) has joined with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others to collaborate with the GENYOUth Foundation on their new program Fuel Up To Play 60 en Español, a Spanish-language web resource based on a nationwide, in-school wellness program that encourages students to live healthier lifestyles through good nutrition and physical activity.
A new Spanish-language publication, from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) aims to increase awareness of the benefits of pediatric palliative care among Hispanic families and caregivers. The brochure is part of NINR’s Palliative Care: Conversations Matter campaign.
Deana Around Him, a post-doctoral researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, studies maternal and child health in tribal communities, with the goal of improving outcomes for children who have experienced trauma. She is currently working with a tribal community in Montana.
If you like sports and you like science, you’ll enjoy meeting Avery White, an undergraduate student studying biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware in Newark. In this LabTV profile, we catch up with White as she conducts basic research that may help us better understand—and possibly prevent—the painful osteoarthritis that often pops up years after knee injuries from sports and other activities.
Some health and wellness issues are unique to women, and others are more common in women than men. This page provides resources and information on health conditions of special concern to women, including menopause, pregnancy, arthritis and osteoporosis. It also includes summaries of research on the effects of complementary health approaches in women with a variety of health conditions.
Don’t let a fear of falling keep you from being active. The good news is that there are simple ways you can prevent most falls. Go4Life offers a tip sheet with quick and easy suggestions to help you avoid falls and the injuries that can come with them.
In a genetic test, a small sample of blood, saliva or tissue is taken to examine a person’s genes. Sometimes genetic testing can detect diseases that may be preventable or treatable. This type of testing is available for thousands of conditions. If you’re considering genetic testing, it’s important to understand the benefits as well as the drawbacks.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a new book, titled Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights. Produced jointly by AHRQ and the NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, it is a collection of papers that highlight the varied contributions of the behavioral and social sciences to population health.
This Hispanic Health Care chartbook from AHRQ is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report(QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106–129). This chartbook includes a summary of trends across measures of Hispanic health care from the QDR and figures illustrating select measures of Hispanic health care. A PowerPoint version is also available that users can download for presentations.
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) launched this e-learning program to develop culturally and linguistically competent messengers, advocates and educators to promote health and wellness among their peers and within their communities.
The OMH Blog for Health Equity is dedicated to raising awareness about health disparities and sharing the views, stories and ideas that unite us toward a common goal of improving the health of all Americans.
Our nation is rooted in the promise of opportunity for all—including the opportunity for better health. As our population grows and transforms the fabric of our country, we continue to embrace the diversity and inclusion of all people who call America home. In every corner of this country, there are powerful stories of those whose quest for improved health stands as a shining example of how opportunity can change lives.
Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by the NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH’s own scientists or by its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.
People say that beauty’s only skin deep; it’s what’s on the “inside” that counts. Our insides are certainly important, but skin is your first layer of defense against the outside world. Skin can also give important clues to your overall health. Learn to take good care of your skin, so your skin can keep taking good care of you.