Rebecca Walker

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Professor of Social Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
333 MacNider Hall (Bioethics Center)

Rebecca Walker, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Medicine (Core Faculty in the Center for Bioethics), and Adjunct Professor in the Philosophy Department, specializes in bioethics and practical ethics methodology. Her current work is largely in research ethics 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 ethics and bioethics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In Social Medicine she teaches three courses during the “foundational” phase of the medical school curriculum. Dr. Walker serves on the UNC Hospital Ethics Service and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. She is a co-investigator in the Center for Genomics and Society (Gail Henderson, PI) as well as in the HealthyVOICES project (Jill Fisher, PI), a longitudinal study of phase I clinical trial volunteers. She is also part of the research ethics faculty resource for UNC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Dr. Walker has co-edited two collected volumes: Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (with Philip J. Ivanhoe) Oxford University Press (2007) and Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations Across the Disciplines (with Mara Buchbinder and Michele Rivkin-Fish) forthcoming with UNC Press. She has published widely in bioethics, including: “Morality and the Limits of Societal Preferences in Health Care Allocation” (with Andrew Siegel) Health Economics (2002); “Human and Animal Subjects of Research: The Moral Significance of Respect versus Welfare” Journal of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (2006); “Medical Ethics Needs a New View of Autonomy” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2009); “Respect for Rational Autonomy” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (2009); “Biodefense Research and the US Regulatory Structure: Whither Nonhuman Primate Moral Status?” (with Nancy MP King) Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (2011); “Charting ELSI’s future course: lessons from the recent past” (with Clair Morrissey) Genetics in Medicine (2012); “Bioethics methods in the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project literature” (with Clair Morrissey) Bioethics (2013); “Genomic Research with the Newly Dead: A Crossroads for Ethics and Policy”(with Eric Juengst, Warren Whipple and Arlene Davis) Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (2014); “Virtue Ethics and Medicine” in Companion to Virtue Ethics, Besser-Jones and Slote, (eds.), Routledge Press (2015), and “Serial Participation and the Ethics of Phase 1 Healthy Volunteer Research” (with Marci Cottingham and Jill Fisher) forthcoming in the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

For a complete list, and article links, see her homepage:

Curriculum Vitae