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This profile was last updated on 5/2/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Vernon E. Walker PhD

Wrong Dr. Vernon E. Walker PhD?

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • D.V.M. cum laude
    University of Tennessee
  • Ph.D. , Experimental Pathology
    Duke University
17 Total References
Web References
International Hormesis Society - 2002 Conference Overview, 2 May 2014 [cached]
Bobby R. Scott, Dale M. Walker & Vernon Walker, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM
HIV Therapy for Pregnant Mothers, 15 Feb 2002 [cached]
"We really don't know what this means as far as future problems, such as the risk of cancer," said Vernon Walker, research scientist at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, N.M.
"However, it does indicate that warnings about future health problems that were promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration about use of these drugs in pregnant women were justified," he told United Press International.
So far, Walker said during a news briefing Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there are no cases in which cancer related to use of the drugs has been reported in the children.
Walker said all children are born with a few DNA mutations.In his study, the average number of mutations among 68 children unexposed to the antiretroviral drugs used to treat patients with the virus was 1.3 per million cells.
However among those 71 babies whose mothers took zidovudine or AZT and/or lamuvidine or 3TC to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, there were an average of 2.6 mutations per million cells -- twice as many.
In another way of measuring the effect of the drugs on the newborns, Walker said about 3 percent of the unexposed children had mutations that indicate an abnormal protein was created by the DNA damage.Among children born to mothers who took AZT or both drugs, these types of mutations occurred in 9 percent to 14 percent of the babies.
"Both those figures are significantly greater than the unexposed children," Walker said.
AZT and 3TC are drugs in the class of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.The drugs integrate into the DNA of the virus, crippling its ability to reproduce.However, the drugs also incorporate themselves into the DNA of normal cells and this change may be transmitted to offspring.
"DNA damage accumulates through a person's lifetime," Walker said."These babies whose mothers received AZT and 3TC have the accumulated DNA mutations one would expect to see in teenagers."
He noted because treatment of pregnant women infected with HIV, which causes AIDS, prevents transmission of the virus, the benefit appears to far outweigh the possibility of a risk of serious disease, such as cancer, down the road.Children who took AZT in early studies, done to show it could prevent virus transmission, now are about around 7 years old.
"But," Walker said, "these studies show that the transmission of these mutations are more than just theoretical."
Walker noted about 25 percent of babies born to untreated mothers have HIV at birth.
With effective treatment, that number is virtually nil.
Society of Toxicology, 18 April 2012 [cached]
Vernon E. Walker, D.V.M., Ph.D., Past President
Dr. Walker received his D.V.M. from The University of Tennessee in 1983 and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1991. He was a pathology resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University (1983-1985) and a postdoctoral fellow in pathology at the University of North Carolina (1991-1993). In 2009, Dr. Walker joined the Department of Pathology, University of Vermont. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the NIH, U.S. FDA, and NIOSH, and reviewed grants for the American Chemistry Council and the Health Effects Institute (1994-Present). He has served on numerous advisory committees for U.S. and Canadian agencies, foundations, and industry. He has been a member of the SOT since 1997, served as a councilor in the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section (2008-Present), and has been active in the student awards program of that specialty section. His research interests are in chemical carcinogenesis, in particular low-dose effects of mutagens.
Vernon E. Walker
Cardiovascular Specialty Section
HEI Ongoing Research, 7 July 2009 [cached]
Vernon Walker, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM
Summer Meeting, 10 July 2006 [cached]
Vernon Walker, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, NM
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