Community & Behavioral Health Promotion
DrPH, Behavorial & Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
MPH, Community Health and Prevention, Drexel
Post-Baccalaureate, Finch University of the Health Sciences
BA, Biology, Lake Forest College
Dr. Renee Walker’s research focuses on disparities in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease with a focus on the role of social determinants of health, including socioeconomic position, neighborhood deprivation, poverty, race/ethnicity and racial discrimination, and residential neighborhood contexts. Her recent research explores disparities in the neighborhood food environment and in access to healthy and nutritious foods. One particular interest of Dr. Walker’s is in the types of food stores in neighborhoods, foods offered and affordability, and food security. Her research provides empirical data to determine whether low-income households sacrifice nutritional quality for the sake of cheaper, less nutritious foods, and assists in the development of scales and instruments to measure food preferences. A related area of research is exploring familial, social, and cultural factors associated with body image.
As a faculty member in the Zilber School of Public Health, Dr. Walker teaches the core MPH course Public Health Principles and Practices, the Community and Behavioral Health Promotion core course Community Health Assessment, and co-teaches Social Justice, Race and Health.