Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dr. W. Allan Walker Honored for Mentorship Activities

Dr. W. Allan Walker.

In recognition of more than 40 years of teaching and mentorship, Dr. W. Allan Walker, Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and former chief of the Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Nutrition Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, received the 2013 American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Council Growth, Development & Child Health (GDCH) Section Research Mentor Award during Digestive Diseases Week in Orlando, Fla.

The award was presented May 19 by GDCH Section chair, Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo, chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and vice-chair, Dr. Alessio Fasano, chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

“Dr Walker has trained generations of pediatric gastroenterologists,” says Dr. Fasano. “Through his many contributions in teaching, mentorship and research, his peers consider him to be one of the founders of pediatric gastroenterology.” Dr. Walker founded the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory in 1969, which is now the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center located at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and is still researching gastrointestinal host defenses as they pertain to the role of enteric nutrients.

“Our lab has always been deeply committed to training clinical and postdoctoral fellows in clinical translational research,” says Dr. Walker. “We realize that the future of translational research is literally in the hands—and the minds—of the clinical researchers that come through our lab, and I’ve been blessed to work with many of the best.”

Dr. Walker established the first combined program in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition with Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital in 1982. He is the founding editor of the definitive textbook for pediatric gastroenterologists in training, Walker’s Pediatric Gastrointestinal Disease, now in its fifth edition, and more than 500 research and review articles.

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