Rod Walker, MS, has developed a diverse research portfolio in his 10+ years working as a biostatistician at KPWHRI. His varied interests have led to collaborations in women's health, cancer, aging and geriatrics, pharmacoepidemiology, opioids research, and mental health. During his tenure he has served as an analyst for the Statistical Coordinating Center for the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, evaluated the impact of health system initiatives to reduce risk associated with chronic opioid therapy prescribing, and investigated potential associations between different medications classes and a wide range of outcomes such as pneumonia, fall-related injury, and dementia.
One of Mr. Walker’s longest-running collaborations is with the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, an ongoing longitudinal cohort study seeking to bolster knowledge of risk factors related to dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and healthy aging. As this project and related studies have grown, he has contributed to analyses of associations between medication use and laboratory values and cognitive outcomes within this cohort of older adults, extended this research to associations with neuropathology measures among autopsied individuals, and helped process and analyze activity monitoring data generated from devices worn by ACT participants. Continued collaboration with ACT-related investigators is a highlight of his research at KPWHRI, as the ACT study provides many avenues for increasing public health knowledge of issues relevant for older adults.
A relatively new area of collaboration for Mr. Walker is with researchers from the Mental Health Research Network seeking to use information captured in electronic health records to predict risk of suicide attempt and suicide death. He has appreciated learning from other investigators and biostatisticians on this project, expanding his knowledge in machine learning and risk prediction, as well as in potential issues surrounding health informatics and implementation of tools into clinical workflows. He looks forward to continued opportunities within this research area to address important public health issues in mental and behavioral health.
Survival and longitudinal data analysis; epidemiology; machine learning; two-phase sampling
Biostatistics; cognitive health and dementia; neuropathologic correlates of dementia; factors associated with healthy aging
Biostatistics; suicide risk prediction; interventions for risk reduction; machine learning and health informatics
Biostatistics; pharmacoepidemiology; medication safety in older adults; opioids and chronic pain
Flanagan ME, Larson EB, Walker RL, Keene CD, Postupna N, Cholerton B, Sonnen JA, Dublin S, Crane PK, Montine TJ. Associations between use of specific analgesics and concentrations of amyloid-beta 42 or phospho-tau in regions of human cerebral cortex. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 Dec 8. pii: JAD170414. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170414. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Thakral M, Walker RL, Saunders K, Shortreed SM, Dublin S, Parchman M, Hansen RN, Ludman E, Sherman KJ, Von Korff M. Impact of opioid dose reduction and risk mitigation initiatives on chronic opioid therapy patients at higher risk for opioid-related adverse outcomes. Pain Med. 2017 Dec 6. pii: 4689184. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx293.[Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Thakral M, Walker RL, Saunders K, Shortreed SM, Dublin S, Parchman M, Hansen RN, Ludman E, Sherman KJ, Von Korff M. Impact of opioid dose reduction initiatives on chronic opioid therapy patients at higher risk for opioid-related adverse outcomes. Pain Med. 2017 Dec 6. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx293. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Gray SL, Walker RL, Dublin S, Yu O, Bowles EJA, Anderson ML, Crane PK, Larson EB. Proton pump inhibitor use and dementia risk: prospective population-based study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Nov 14. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15073. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Thakral M, Walker RL, Saunders K, Shortreed SM, Parchman M, Hansen RN, Ludman E, Sherman KJ, Dublin S, Von Korff M. Comparing pain and depressive symptoms of chronic opioid therapy patients receiving dose reduction and risk mitigation initiatives to usual care. J Pain. 2018 Jan;19(1):111-120. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Oct 13. PubMed
Drs. Larson and Crane co-lead Kaiser Permanente-University of Washington collaboration learning how to promote healthy aging.
A Kaiser Permanente-led BCSC study is among the largest ever to evaluate adding MRI surveillance for breast cancer survivors.
National Institute on Aging awards more than $3 million to Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study for 5 years.
Julie Richards, motivated by clinical practice needs and lived experience, is researching suicide-related care.