Rebecca Walker

Professor, Social Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor, Philosophy

PhD Philosophy
MA Philosophy
AB American Studies

Dr. Walker’s current work focuses on biomedical research including animal research, phase I healthy volunteer research, and genomic advances. She also works on topics in health care ethics including distributive justice and concepts of autonomy. Dr. Walker completed a Greenwall Foundation post-doctoral fellowship in bioethics and health policy at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities in July 2001. She then held a visiting faculty position in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan, arriving at UNC in 2003. In Philosophy, she regularly teaches topics in the philosophy of medicine and bioethics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In Social Medicine she teaches during the “foundational” phase of the medical school curriculum. Dr. Walker serves on the faculty advisory board for the Institute for Arts and Humanities, on UNC’s Animal Care and Use Committee, and is past co-director of education for the Hospital Ethics Service. She is Principal Investigator (with Jill Fisher) on an NIH grant that aims to improve ethics and policy for phase I healthy volunteer research, the Comparative Model Organism Research Ethics (CMORE) for Healthy Volunteers study. She is also part of UNC’s Center for Genomics and Society.

Dr. Walker has co-edited four volumes including the 2 volume series The Social Medicine Reader, 3rd edition (2019, Duke University Press). Her other co-edited volumes are: Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems(2007, Oxford University Press) and Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations Across the Disciplines (2016, UNC Press). She is currently writing a monograph titled Of Mice and Primates: Virtue Ethics and Animal Research (under contract with OUP press). Her research has appeared in: PLoS Medicine, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Ethics & Human Research, The Hastings Center Report, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Nature Biotechnology, Bioethics, AMA Journal of Ethics, Journal of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Health Economics, North Carolina Law Review, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, Journal of Bioethical InquiryCriminal Justice Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, and Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, among other venues.