Allan Walker, MD, Director
Director of Nutrition & Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health
Principal Investigator of the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
Dr. Allan Walker is the Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Principal Investigator of the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He has a secondary appointment as Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Through Allan’s research on the importance of nutrition in human development he sees firsthand a great need to encourage Americans to improve their diet.
Allan’s research interests include the development of mucosal immune function and the role of breastfeeding and protective nutrients in the ontogeny of intestinal host defense. He has received numerous honors in recognition of his research including the Shwachman Award from NASPGHAN and the Hugh Butt Award from the AGA for mucosal immunologic research and a R-37 (MERIT) Award from the National Institutes of Health for outstanding investigation in breast milk immunology. Recently, Allan’s laboratory has defined the cellular mechanism of probiotic protection in necrotizing enterocolitis.
After completing medical school at Washington University of St. Louis, Allan trained in Pediatrics and Immunology with Dr. Robert Good at the University of Minnesota before coming to Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) to train in Gastroenterology and Nutrition with Dr. Kurt Isselbacher. Allan joined the faculty of Pediatrics in 1971 and became Professor in 1982. He established the first Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1973 and became Director of a Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1982.