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Funded Studies

Douglas Walker, PhD

Senior Scientist at Banner Sun Health Research Institute

Location: Sun City, AZ United States

Douglas Walker, PhD, received his undergraduate education at Brunel University (U.K.) and PhD in pathology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. He spent 12 years working with Drs. Patrick and Edith McGeer, pioneers of neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as a research professor. He has held a position at the Sun Health Research Institute (now Banner Sun Health Research Institute) since 1998, currently as senior scientist and laboratory director of the Laboratory of Neuroinflammation. His research interests are in the role of inflammation as pathogenic mechanisms for AD and PD, particularly the failure of certain endogenous anti-inflammatory proteins, such as CD200 and suppressor of cytokine signaling, to control inflammation in the elderly brain. The focus of these studies is to determine which inflammatory molecules are causing the damage in these diseases. He was a pioneer of the use of human postmortem brain-derived microglia as an in vitro model for studying inflammatory mechanisms involved in AD and PD.  He has shared a laboratory with Dr. Lih Fen Lue for 12 years, and they have been doing collaborative work for nearly 20 years. Recent work has been to characterize abnormalities of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in PD and Lewy body disorders and determine the degree of inflammatory responses to alpha-synuclein. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer’s Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation and state and local agencies. Dr. Walker serves as appointed reviewer on a NIH study section and Veterans Administration review panel.

Associated Grants

  • Validation of Novel and Traditional Quantitative EEG Biomarkers


  • Characterization of Inflammatory Mediators During Early Stages of Parkinson's Disease


  • Involvement of CD200/CD200 Receptor Interactions in Inflammatory-mediated Pathology in PD


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