Rod Walker, MS

“I provide biostatistical support for a wide range of KPWHRI projects because I want to better understand and improve health care for patients—from prenatal wellness to the promotion of healthy aging.”

Rod Walker, MS

Biostatistician, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


A 2007 graduate of the University of Washington's biostatistics program, Rod Walker, MS, developed a unique niche at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI). With interests ranging from women's health to dementia to pharmaco-epidemiology, he is poised to strengthen his expertise through a diverse research portfolio.

Mr. Walker works with data from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study to bolster knowledge of risk factors related to dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and healthy aging. He has contributed to medication use  analyses within this cohort and extended this research into associations with neuropathology measures. These latter investigations have utilized techniques to adjust for selection bias relevant to autopsy studies. Continued collaboration with other ACT investigators is a highlight of his research at KPWHRI. Mr. Walker also has been involved in a number of projects pertaining to women's health. Examples include serving as an analyst for the Statistical Coordinating Center for the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and investigating maternal and infant outcomes following elective inductions of labor in a multi-site study.

He has also been fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with KPWHRI investigator and  epidemiologist Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, on a number of projects focused on the subject of  community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the elderly. This research has involved studies of CAP risk associated with various medication classes, as well as prognostic clinical indicators of future CAP risk. For Dr. Dublin's project on elective induction of labor, Mr. Walker has been applying methods of two-phase sampling and analysis to estimate potential associations with greater efficiency. He looks forward to continuing these projects with Dr. Dublin.

Research interests and experience

  • Biostatistics

    Survival analysis; longitudinal data analysis; simulation studies; two-phase sampling

  • Women's Health

    Biostatistics; breast cancer screening; safety and effectiveness of interventions during pregnancy

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Biostatistics; cognitive health and dementia; neuropathologic correlates of dementia

  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Biostatistics; pharmaco-epidemiology; medication safety in older adults

Recent publications

Marcum ZA, Walker RL, Jones BL, Ramaprasan A, Gray SL, Dublin S, Crane PK, Larson EB. Patterns of antihypertensive and statin adherence prior to dementia: findings from the Adult Changes in Thought study. BMC Geriatr. 2019;19(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1058-6. PubMed

Dublin S, Walker RL, Shortreed SM, Ludman EJ, Sherman KJ, Hansen RN, Thakral M, Saunders K, Parchman ML, Von Korff M. Impact of initiatives to reduce prescription opioid risks on medically attended injuries in people using chronic opioid therapy. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2018 Oct 30. doi: 10.1002/pds.4678. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Walker R, Bobb JF, Sin MK, Gray SL, Bowen JD, McCormick W, McCurry SM, Crane PK, Larson EB. Serum cholesterol and incident Alzheimer’s disease: findings from the Adult Changes in Thought study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Oct 5. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15581. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Von Korff M, Saunders K, Dublin S, Walker RL, Thakral M, Sherman KJ, Ludman EJ, Hansen RN, Parchman M, Shortreed SM. Impact of chronic opioid therapy risk reduction initiatives on opioid overdose. J Pain. 2018 Sep 3. pii: S1526-5900(18)30494-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.08.003. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


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