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Walker Lab

We are a group of cell biology enthusiast who will investigate the functional role of stem cells on both normal physiology and pathophysiology states. Our investigative tools include qualitive techniques like microscopy and flow cytometry. As well as quantitative approaches such as statics, bioinformatics and proteomics. To date, the Walker lab is focused on how primary breast tumors initiates metastases thru transcriptional regulation. We will explore how gene expression changes leads to cellular dormancy in the bone marrow. We believe that cancer stem cells facilitate cellular dormancy through various cellular signaling mechanisms and aim to elucidate the various avenues used by cancer stem cells to promote dormancy and to evade immune cell surveillance. Our ultimate goal is to develop novel approaches to reverse cancer stem cell dormancy to aid in eradicating cancer.

Dr. Nykia Walker attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a B.A. in biology in 2006 and a M.S. in Infectious Diseases & Immunology in 2007. Upon completing her Master’s Degree, she worked as a biochemist in the research laboratories of Merck and Co. for eight years. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Physiology in 2018 from the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies at New Jersey and to work as a post-doc the University of Chicago’s Ben May Department for Cancer Research, before starting in the UMBC Department of Biological Sciences in Spring 2021.

For more information about the Walker Lab, please email Nykia Walker at ndwalker@umbc.edu.