Stephen Walker, PhD

Wake Forest School of Medicine


Stephen Walker, PhD is a Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) in the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston- Salem, NC. He received his PhD in Genetics and Developmental Biology at West Virginia University and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Molecular Genetics Program at Wake Forest Baptist Health prior to joining the Department of Pediatrics faculty in the Section on Medical Genetics.

Dr. Walker’s group is focused on the application of integrated multi-omics approaches, using patient biospecimens, to understand the molecular basis for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and to understand how chronic GI problems early in childhood may impact neurodevelopment. The objective of this work is to identify clinically relevant biological markers that can be used for diagnosis and/or as therapeutic targets to the benefit of this vulnerable and underserved population.

BRAIN Funded Projects

Study the Pathological Status in Gastrointestinal Tissue in GI Symptomatic Children with and without Autism

Replicating previous findings in order to provide support for a change in prevailing clinical practice of the evaluation of GI symptomatic ASD children.

Recent & Selected Publications

Krigsman A, Walker SJ. Gastrointestinal disease in children with autism spectrum disorders: Etiology or consequence?. World J Psychiatry. 2021;11(9):605-618. Published 2021 Sep 19. doi:10.5498/wjp.v11.i9.605

Walker SJ, Langefeld CD, Zimmerman K, Schwartz MZ, Krigsman A. A molecular biomarker for prediction of clinical outcome in children with ASD, constipation, and intestinal inflammation. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):5987. Published 2019 Apr 12. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-42568-1

Walker SJ, Beavers DP, Fortunato J, Krigsman A. A Putative Blood-Based Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Ileocolitis. Sci Rep. 2016;6:35820. Published 2016 Oct 21. doi:10.1038/srep35820

BRAIN Synchrony Symposia presentations

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