Shannon Walker is a cardiovascular physician scientist with a passion for improving health care and equity in underserved populations. A native of Northern Virginia, Dr Walker earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Princeton University and received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society. She completed Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital where she was selected to lead as a Chief Resident. She has applied her clinical skills in underserved areas both domestically and abroad, including research in Kampala, Uganda, volunteer clinical work in Nouakchott, Mauritania, asylum evaluations for refugees through Physicians for Human Rights, and serving in remote hospitals on Native American reservations during the COVID19 crisis. Now, as a cardiovascular fellow at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), she has cared for a significant number of patients who suffer from heart disease related to substance use. She is passionate about working with this patient population because of the severity of heart disease, highly morbid clinical outcomes, poorly understood disease pathogenesis, and the associated health care disparities and stigma negatively affecting this marginalized group. As such, her current research focuses on investigating the underlying genetic and environmental mechanisms that lead to methamphetamine associated heart failure.
Throughout her medical career, Dr Walker plans to continue drawing upon her diverse background of clinical, research, and leadership experiences to design and implement international research and equity-focused projects inclusive of underserved and understudied populations. As a member of the French American Program, she is excited to learn from her peers and the alumni community as gaining exposure to professionals with diverse passions and expertise will inspire and inform the work she does. A dedicated Francophile since high school, she also cannot wait to practice her French which she has managed to keep alive during the past decade of medical training.