In Memoriam: Matthew Walker III, 1965-2021

Matthew Walker III, a professor of practice in biomedical engineering a Vanderbilt University, died late last month in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 56 years old.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 1987. After working as a mechanical/biomedical engineer with NASA in Houston, he earned a Ph.D. in cardiovascular biophysics and pharmacology from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Dr. Walker completed postdoctoral training in the Harvard–M.I.T. Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He then spent eight years at Merck Research Laboratories, where he led a team of pharmacology and biomarker development imaging specialists in cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, and obesity-related drug discovery efforts.

Dr. Walker joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2011 and held dual appointments as professor of the practice of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and professor of radiology and radiological sciences in the School of Medicine. He also was associate director of the Medical Innovators Development Program.

In 2020, Dr. Walker was named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for “the development of an innovative biotechnology design curriculum across departments within engineering, medicine, and the biomedical device industry.”


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