Dr. Cheryl Walker, director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT), has been named the deputy director of the Texas One Gulf Center of Excellence (Texas One Gulf). The center is part of the Harte Research Institute and provides scientific research that will advance regional, state, and national policy initiatives to successfully restore and sustain a healthy environment in the Gulf of Mexico region, for both the humans and animals that inhabit the region.
Dr. Walker is widely respected in the field of cancer research. She holds an endowed Welch Chair in Chemistry and a joint position as a clinical professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. She was a 2010 recipient of the Cozzarelli Prize for Biological Sciences from the National Academy of Sciences; as well as, the Dallas Living Legend Achievement Award in Basic Research. She is the former 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 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Walker received a Ph.D. in cell biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She was a past fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. Currently she serves on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute.
Texas One Gulf has been established as part of the implementation of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE). This act is funded by penalties incurred by BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in April 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico.
For Dr. Walker, the mission of Texas One Gulf represents the continuation of the important work that her and her research colleagues have already initiated. “Texas One Gulf recognizes that humans are part of the environment and that a healthy environment, healthy economy, and healthy citizens define a Gulf of Mexico that Texas wants now and for the future,” Walker said. “The Texas A&M Health Science Center played a key role in developing the focus of Texas One Gulf on human health and well-being, which makes it unique among the other RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence.”