MEET THE TEAM

Deena Walker

Prefered Pronouns: she/her

Outside the lab

Dr. Walker enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, playing with her son and her dog (who is honestly too old to play). She is always perfecting her enchiladas recipes.

Dr. Walker received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Gore. Her graduate work focused on how gestational exposure to environmental contaminants affects sex-specific hypothalamic gene expression throughout development and alters the timing of reproductive transitions – both puberty and reproductive senescence. As a postdoc, Dr. Walker built on her expertise on adolescent development to study how adolescent experience reprogrammed the transcriptome and sex-specific anxiety and reward-associated behaviors in adulthood. As an assistant professor, Dr. Walker has combined her interests in neuroendocrinology, molecular biology, adolescent development and sex-specific behavioral reprogramming to develop a research program that is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sex-specific programing of the adolescent brain and the functional consequences on behavior.

Allison Milian

Prefered Pronouns: she/her
Research Technician

Outside the lab

In her free time, Allison loves biking, writing, Pilates, and makeup artistry. She also enjoys fashion and all things dessert.

Allison obtained Associate’s degree from Santa Fe College before pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a specialty in Biochemistry from the University of Florida. She completed her undergraduate thesis on the use of puromycin to measure rate of translation in cells in the Abisambra Lab at UF’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, earning a Summa Cum Laude title. She hopes her background in mouse behavioral analysis and molecular research techniques will assist her in studying sex-based behavioral differences in the Walker Lab. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Neuroscience in the future.

Cari Bendersky

Prefered Pronouns: she/her
Research Technician

Outside the lab

Cari spends a lot of time exploring the woods with her daughter and their dog, cuddling her cats or baking a nice cake.

Cari earned her B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington with a minor in chemistry. As a technician in the Walker Lab she hopes to apply her interests and knowledge in molecular and computational biology to further understand the cellular mechanisms of the adolescent brain.

Are you in our field of study? Looking to join our team?