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Social Medicine


Core Faculty
Center for Bioethics

PhD Philosophy
MA Philosophy
AB American Studies

Rebecca Walker is a philosopher of medicine whose primary focus is on the relationship between moral theories and concepts and various biomedical practices. Her 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 including distributive justice and concepts of autonomy. In addition to using philosophical methods, she works with qualitative empirical data.

Dr. Walker received her PhD from Stanford University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in bioethics and health policy at Johns Hopkins University in 2001. She then held a visiting faculty position in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan, arriving at UNC in the Departments of Social Medicine and Philosophy in 2003. In Philosophy, she teaches one course per year at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. In Social Medicine, she teaches medical students during the foundational phase of their curriculum. She has served on the UNC Hospital Ethics Service, where she co-directed ethics education efforts, and currently serves on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. She is a Principal Investigator on a National Institutes of Health supported study of Comparative Model Organism Research Ethics (CMORE) for Healthy Volunteers, which aims to provide ethical and policy guidance for phase I healthy volunteer clinical trials. She is also a co-Investigator in a National Human Genome Research Institute funded grant on Incidental Enhancements connected with genome editing technologies. In the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC, she is a fellow in the Parr Center for Ethics, a member of the Standing Advisory Committee for the Department of Public Policy and is a former member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Institute for Arts and Humanities. She is currently an elected member of the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure for the UNC campus.

Recent Publications

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