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Loretta Walker

Loretta Walker, PhD

Assistant Professor; Director, Drexel Pathway to Medical School Program


Department: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies

Education

  • PhD in Pharmacology - Temple University Medical School (2001)
  • BS in Biology - Xavier University (1991)
  • Course director, Basic Concepts in Pharmacology & Neuroscience, 2008–present
  • Course director, Strategic Concepts in Science and Verbal Reasoning, 2008–present
  • Course director, Community Dimensions in Medicine, 2004–present
  • Course director, Medical Science Preparation, 2003–present
  • Director, Drexel University College of Medicine Pathway Program, 2003–present
  • Liaison, Drexel University College of Medicine P.A.L.S. Program, 2002–present
    P
    romoting Achievement through Learning in Science 
    The mission of this program is to expand critical thinking and promote global awareness for inner city middle school youth by exploring the scientific realm of the world. Through hands-on, scientific-based laboratory sessions and classroom sessions, Philadelphia youth will gain an understanding of the world-at-large. Elements of health and medicine are integrated in order to provide an understanding of the relationship between the human body and the world.

Research

Somatosensory thalamocortical studies, 2001-2003

  • Microelectrode implantation into somatosensory cortex and VPM thalamus to make extracellular recordings of multiple isolated neurons during whisker stimulation.  This model has been used extensively to investigate how synaptically released norepinephrine modifies the response properties of sensory neurons, circuits and networks in behaving animals.
  • Small animal survival surgery

Sensorimotor learning and memory, 1991-2000

  • Microinjection and microdialysis of pharmacological agents into discreet brain regions of goldfish (cerebellum) and rat (fastigial nucleus)
  • Construction of microinjection (50µm diameter) and microdialysis (175µm diameter) probes
  • Construction of head restraints on small animals (goldfish and rats)
  • Microsurgery to attach eye coils to goldfish sclera tissue using aseptic techniques
  • High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with various detection methods:  electrochemical (catecholamines), fluorometric (excitatory amino acids) or enzymatic (acetylcholine)
  • Use of laser pipette puller, Sutter Instrument Co. model P-2000
  • Assistant trainer of laboratory technicians with computer usage, HPLC, GLP and SOP
  • Assistant supervisor for Summer Research Opportunity Program undergraduate student(s) during 10-week research project

Publications

"What you wanted to know about Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) Programs"
Walker, L. and Williams, J.
Ask the Experts, Summer 2008

"Methylphenidate (Ritalin) exerts differential effects on strong vs. weak responses of sensory cortical neurons to synaptic inputs in anesthetized rats"
Walker, LW and BD Waterhouse,
Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. #61.14, 2003

"Cortical and thalamic neuronal responsiveness to sensory inputs is enhanced following Methylphenidate (Ritalin®) administration"
Williams Walker, L. *, D. M. Devilbiss, R. S. Markowitz, and B. D. Waterhouse 
Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. #804.9, 2002

"The effects of methylphenidate on somatosensory thalamic responses to whisker stimulation"
Walker, L.W. and Waterhouse, B.
Drexel & MCP-Hahnemann University, Discovery 2001 Research Day Abstract, October 4, 2001.

"Inactivation of adenylyl cyclase in cerebellum inhibits vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) adaptation"
Williams, L. Z. and McElligott, J. G.
Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 27:#293-10, 1997.

"Noradrenergic ß1 and not ß2 receptors in the vestibulo-cerebellum of the goldfish are necessary for adaptive vestibulo-ocular reflex gain changes"
Williams, L. Z. and McElligott, J. G.
Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 22:#720.11, 1996.

"Vestibulo-ocular Reflex (VOR) Adaptation, a sensori-motor model of learning, is inhibited by cerebellar infusion of a ß-noradrenergic antagonist (propranolol)"
Williams, L. Z. and McElligott, J. G.
J. Neurochemistry 66, supplement 1:S51-A, 1996.

"Cerebellar ß-noradrenergic receptor antagonism by propranolol inhibits the vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation in goldfish"
Williams, L. Z. and McElligott, J. G.
Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 20:#488.14, 1994.


Contact Information


Academic Office

Division of Pre-medical and Pre-health Programs
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.7125