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Mary Walter, Ph.D.

Professional Experience

  • Staff Scientist, NIDDK, NIH, 2007-present
  • Research Associate, Atlanta VA Medical Center, 2004-2007
  • Research Scientist, Elucida Research LLC, 2001-2004
  • Research Fellow, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Tufts University, 1997-2001
  • Research Fellow, Medical College of PA, 1995-1997
  • Ph.D., Duquesne University, 1995

Current Research

The Clinical Laboratory Services Core collaborates with investigators from across the NIDDK Clinical Research Program to provide sensitive, inexpensive, and reproducible analyses as well as develop new assays, supporting a wide range of clinical studies. These analyses include measurement of gut hormones, adipokines, oxidative stress markers, cytokines, and other biomarkers in biologic fluids. The lab does extensive validation of all assays before conducting routine sample analyses of clinical specimens. Once assays have been validated, the lab coordinates with clinical research investigators to establish a charge-back fee structure to support on-going routine specimen analyses, charging for the cost of supplies only. Additionally, the lab works to reduce costs of assays by centralizing purchase of common supplies used in specimen analyses and by taking advantage of bulk purchasing discounts yielding savings which are passed along to the investigators utilizing the lab’s services. Assays are uniquely tailored to meet the needs of the investigator, thus saving on sample volume and ensuring cost effectiveness in all cases.

The Clinical Laboratory Services Core also provides a core service which allows for simple access to human sample acquisition, processing, tracking, and storage in accordance with current legislation. The acquisition process involves preparation of tubes for blood draw to achieve the lowest levels of degradation. Samples are processed within an hour of blood collection to ensure thermal preservation. Biospecimens are tracked using a web-based database and customized to provide quick, reliable, and accurate accounting for clinical specimens stored with the Clinical Laboratory Services Core.

Select Publications

Metreleptin-mediated improvements in insulin sensitivity are independent of food intake in humans with lipodystrophy.
Brown RJ, Valencia A, Startzell M, Cochran E, Walter PJ, Garraffo HM, Cai H, Gharib AM, Ouwerkerk R, Courville AB, Bernstein S, Brychta RJ, Chen KY, Walter M, Auh S, Gorden P.
J Clin Invest (2018 Aug 1) 128:3504-3516. Abstract/Full Text
Norepinephrine and T4 Are Predictors of Fat Mass Gain in Humans With Cold-Induced Brown Adipose Tissue Activation.
Begaye B, Piaggi P, Thearle MS, Haskie K, Walter M, Schlögl M, Bonfiglio S, Krakoff J, Vinales KL.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2018 Jul 1) 103:2689-2697. Abstract/Full Text
View More Publications

Research in Plain Language

The Clinical Laboratory Services Core works with investigators from NIDDK’s Clinical Research Program. We provide high-quality and inexpensive laboratory analyses. We also develop and validate new assays. These assays measure many different biomarkers and support a wide range of clinical studies. We work with investigators to establish a fee structure for services. The lab charges for the cost of supplies only. We reduce the cost of assays through central and bulk purchasing. These practices reduce costs for investigators. The lab also tailors assays. This saves on sample volume and ensures cost effectiveness.

The facility also provides simple access to human samples. The lab acquires, processes, tracks, and stores samples to meet current legislation. We prepare blood samples to achieve low degradation levels. The lab processes samples quickly to ensure thermal preservation. We track samples using a customized, web-based database. This database provides quick and accurate accounting.