Deena Walker

  • Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine


The Walker Lab studies the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the long-term consequences of adolescence experience on adult behavior with a specific focus on sex-specific effects. In humans, the adolescent period is associated with the emergence of psychiatric disorders including mood and substance use disorders. Experiences during this developmental window influence the susceptibility and progression of such disorders into adulthood. Additionally, there are striking differences between the sexes in vulnerability to psychiatric disorders as well as adolescent progression. We use a range of cellular and molecular approaches to understand how sex differences in adolescent brain development are shaped by environmental experiences, with the goal of identifying therapeutic interventions for all vulnerable populations

Education and training

    • B.S., 2002, The University of Texas at Austin
    • Ph.D., 2012, The University of Texas at Austin

Areas of interest

  • Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
  • Sex differences in motivation and reward
  • Neurobiology of Addiction
  • Adolescent Development



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