William Walker, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute
Dr. William Walker a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Randy Nelson’s lab recently received a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Cancer Institute for his grant titled, “Circadian Rhythms in Blood Brain Barrier Permeability and Increased Efficacy of Chemotherapy for Brain Metastases." Dr. Walker’s work is aimed at a subgroup of patients with breast cancer that develop brain metastases. While the 5-year survival rate is over 90% in general for the disease this subgroup of patients has less than a 10% 5-year survival. Chemotherapy treatment of brain metastases is challenging reflecting the inability of chemotherapy to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and/or blood tumor barrier (BTB) at effective rates. Recent evidence suggests BBB permeability fluctuates throughout the day. Dr. Walker’s research aims to take advantage of this circadian control by optimally timing chemotherapy administration to increase anti-tumor efficacy and reduce adverse side effects of brain metastases. Dr. Walker will be using cutting edge approaches to address his research aims to provide essential information for clinical translation to better treat patients with breast cancer.