Adolescent and Young Adult Health
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Walker Lab
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Our scholarly activities build on the premise that illness occurs at biological, psychological, and social levels. In the quest to improve the health of adolescents and young adults, our faculty conduct innovative research on a variety of topics including the impact of stress on physiological and psychological responses to pain, evaluation of vaccine efficacy and compliance, and development of programs to facilitate the transition of youth from pediatric to adult health care services.

Our faculty have expertise in clinical research methods ranging from laboratory assessment of stress reactivity to analysis of data from population-based health surveys. Our research teams are multidisciplinary and include investigators with expertise in adolescent medicine, psychology and psychiatry, gastroenterology, and public health. We provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral fellows to develop research skills by working collaboratively with our faculty.

Faculty members and trainees share their expertise and research findings at local educational events and at national and international professional meetings. We have recently contributed to the scientific programs for meetings of the Pediatric Academic Societies, the International Symposium on Pediatric Pain, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, the National Conference on Child Health Psychology, the International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, and the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies.

Read more about our investigators and their research efforts.

Lynn Walker, Ph.D.
Dr. Walker's research aims to understand biopsychosocial processes in the development of chronic pain, with a particular focus on visceral pain in functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. She is an investigator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and a faculty member of the doctoral training program in Psychological Sciences with a specialization in Clinical ScienceLearn more about Dr. Walker's research.

Todd Callahan, M.D., M.P.H
Dr. Callahan's research focuses on the health and health care of youth as they transition from adolescence to young adulthood. He uses large health surveys as well as qualitative methods to study access to health care for older adolescents and young adults. As an investigator in the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program (VVRP), Dr. Callahan is also evaluating vaccines to improve the health of adolescents and young adults.

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