Lynn S. Walker, Ph.D., is professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Young Adult Health. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychology and Human Development where she is a faculty member in the clinical psychology training program. Dr. Walker's research aims to understand biopsychosocial processes in the development of chronic pain, with a particular focus on functional syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia.
Dr. Walker's research has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development since 1987 (R01 HD23267; 1R01HD076983-01A1). Her current project is entitled “Predicting Treatment Outcomes in Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain.” This is a five-year longitudinal study that aims to identify child and family characteristics that predict differential responses to a Cognitive Behavior Therapy intervention administered online to patients with functional abdominal pain (FAP) and their parents. The goal is to acquire scientific knowledge to guide individualized treatments of patients with FAP.
Dr. Walker completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College and her graduate studies at Vanderbilt University. She did an internship in clinical psychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles and subsequently was awarded an NIH National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship to study child and family adjustment in children with chronic illness. Dr. Walker joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt in 1985 and was promoted to Professor, with tenure, in 1999. She served as Director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Young Adult Health from 2002 until 2017. In addition to her research, teaching, and administrative duties, Dr. Walker provides behavioral health services to pediatric patients with chronic pain.