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
Aiello Bowles EJ, Crane PK, Walker RL, Chubak J, LaCroix AZ, Anderson ML, Rosenberg D, Keene CD, Larson EB. Cognitive resilience to Alzheimer's disease pathology in the human brain. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;68(3):1071-1083. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180942. PubMed
Hart LA, Marcum ZA, Gray SL, Walker RL, Crane PK, Larson EB. The association between central nervous system-active medication use and fall-related injury in community-dwelling older adults with dementia. Pharmacotherapy. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.1002/phar.2244. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
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
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 Dec;66(12):2344-2352. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15581. Epub 2018 Oct 5. 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. 2019 Jan;28(1):90-96. doi: 10.1002/pds.4678. Epub 2018 Oct 30. PubMed
New work by Susan Shortreed, PhD, finds infection risks drive worse outcomes for some racial and ethnic groups.
Dr. Sascha Dublin tells how studies of KP electronic health record data can improve COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
Drs. Larson and Crane co-lead Kaiser Permanente-University of Washington collaboration learning how to promote healthy aging.