Ashley Walker is an expert in how old age changes blood vessels. The risk for cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and Alzheimer's disease increase exponentially as we get older. Yet, the mechanisms underlying the worsening of vascular health in old age or how this impaired vascular affects age-related diseases is unknown.
Dr. Walker's research seeks to understand the contributors to age-related vascular dysfunction, such as the role of inflammation, telomere dysfunction, or changes in sex hormones. Her research is also examining the functional consequences of age-related vascular dysfunction on the brain, with a focus on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Walker directs the Aging and Vascular Physiology Laboratory.
Dr. Walker's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer's Association, and the John L Luvaas Family Fund. She earned her BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University and her PhD in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder. She performed postdoctoral fellowships at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the University of Utah. Dr. Walker joined the Department of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon in the Fall of 2017.