Ashley E. Walker, PhD


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Geriatrics

Academic Bio

Dr. Walker's primary research interest is to identify the mechanisms leading to impaired vascular function with advancing age. Specifically, she focuses on vascular impairments related to reduced endothelial function, increased arterial stiffness, increased arterial permeability, and increased susceptibility to damage following hemodynamic changes. In addition, Dr. Walker is interested in determining the functional consequences of these vascular impairments.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Utah
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellowship Cedars-Sinai Medical Institute
Vascular Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training University of Colorado
Integrative Physiology
Undergraduate Oregon State University
Exercise and Sport Science

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Lesniewski LA, Seals DR, Walker AE, Henson GD, Blimline MW, Trott DW, Bosshardt GC, LaRocca TJ, Lawson BR, Zigler MC, Donato AJ (2017). Dietary rapamycin supplementation reverses age-related vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress, while modulating nutrient-sensing, cell cycle, and senescence pathways. Aging Cell, 16(1), 17-26.
  2. Walker AE, Morgan RG, Ives SJ, Cawthon RM, Andtbacka RH, Noyes D, Lesniewski LA, Richardson RS, Donato AJ (2016). Age-related arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women compared with men. Exp Gerontol, 73, 65-71.
  3. Jablonski KL, Donato AJ, Fleenor BS, Nowlan MJ, Walker AE, Kaplon RE, Ballak DB, Seals DR (2015). Reduced large elastic artery stiffness with regular aerobic exercise in middle-aged and older adults: potential role of suppressed nuclear factor kappa B signalling. J Hypertens, 33(12), 2477-82.
  4. Frech T, Walker AE, Barrett-OKeefe Z, Hopkins PN, Richardson RS, Wray DW, Donato AJ (2015). Systemic sclerosis induces pronounced peripheral vascular dysfunction characterized by blunted peripheral vasoreactivity and endothelial dysfunction. Clin Rheumatol, 34(5), 905-13.
  5. Walker AE, Henson GD, Reihl KD, Morgan RG, Dobson PS, Nielson EI, Ling J, Mecham RP, Li DY, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2015). Greater impairments in cerebral artery compared with skeletal muscle feed artery endothelial function in a mouse model of increased large artery stiffness. J Physiol, 593(8), 1931-43.
  6. Gibson CC, Zhu W, Davis CT, Bowman-Kirigin JA, Chan AC, Ling J, Walker AE, Goitre L, Delle Monache S, Retta SF, Shiu YT, Grossmann AH, Thomas KR, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA, Whitehead KJ, Li DY (2015). Strategy for identifying repurposed drugs for the treatment of cerebral cavernous malformation. Circulation, 131(3), 289-99.
  7. Gibson CC, Davis CT, Zhu W, Bowman-Kirigin JA, Walker AE, Tai Z, Thomas KR, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA, Li DY (2015). Dietary Vitamin D and Its Metabolites Non-Genomically Stabilize the Endothelium. PLoS One, 10(10), e0140370.
  8. Walker AE, Kaplon RE, Pierce GL, Nowlan MJ, Seals DR (2014). Prevention of age-related endothelial dysfunction by habitual aerobic exercise in healthy humans: possible role of nuclear factor kappaB. Clin Sci (Lond), 127(11), 645-54.
  9. Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA, Stuart D, Walker AE, Henson G, Sorensen L, Li D, Kohan DE (2014). Smooth muscle specific disruption of the endothelin-A receptor in mice reduces arterial pressure, and vascular reactivity and affects vascular development. Life Sci, 118(2), 238-43.
  10. Morgan RG, Ives SJ, Walker AE, Cawthon RM, Andtbacka RH, Noyes D, Lesniewski LA, Richardson RS, Donato AJ (2014). Role of arterial telomere dysfunction in hypertension: relative contributions of telomere shortening and telomere uncapping. J Hypertens, 32(6), 1293-9.
  11. Walker AE, Henson GD, Reihl KD, Nielson EI, Morgan RG, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2014). Beneficial effects of lifelong caloric restriction on endothelial function are greater in conduit arteries compared to cerebral resistance arteries. Age (Dordr), 36(2), 559-69.
  12. Henson GD, Walker AE, Reihl KD, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA (2014). Dichotomous mechanisms of aortic stiffening in high-fat diet fed young and old B6D2F1 mice. Physiol Rep, 2(3), e00268.
  13. Donato AJ, Walker AE, Magerko KA, Bramwell RC, Black AD, Henson GD, Lawson BR, Lesniewski LA, Seals DR (2013). Life-long caloric restriction reduces oxidative stress and preserves nitric oxide bioavailability and function in arteries of old mice. Aging Cell, 12(5), 772-83.
  14. DeVan AE, Eskurza I, Pierce GL, Walker AE, Jablonski KL, Kaplon RE, Seals DR (2013). Regular aerobic exercise protects against impaired fasting plasma glucose-associated vascular endothelial dysfunction with aging. Clin Sci (Lond), 124(5), 325-31.
  15. Walker AE, Kaplon RE, Lucking SM, Russell-Nowlan MJ, Eckel RH, Seals DR (2012). Fenofibrate improves vascular endothelial function by reducing oxidative stress while increasing endothelial nitric oxide synthase in healthy normolipidemic older adults. Hypertension, 60(6), 1517-23.
  16. Martin EA, Barresi R, Byrne BJ, Tsimerinov EI, Scott BL, Walker AE, Gurudevan SV, Anene F, Elashoff RM, Thomas GD, Victor RG (2012). Tadalafil alleviates muscle ischemia in patients with Becker muscular dystrophy. Sci Transl Med, 4(162), 162ra155.
  17. Pierce GL, Jablonski KL, Walker AE, Seibert SM, DeVan AE, Black SM, Sharma S, Seals DR (2012). Tetrahydrobiopterin supplementation enhances carotid artery compliance in healthy older men: a pilot study. Am J Hypertens, 25(10), 1050-4.
  18. Donato AJ, Henson GD, Morgan RG, Enz RA, Walker AE, Lesniewski LA (2012). TNF-alpha impairs endothelial function in adipose tissue resistance arteries of mice with diet-induced obesity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 303(6), H672-9.
  19. Christou DD, Pierce GL, Walker AE, Hwang MH, Yoo JK, Luttrell M, Meade TH, English M, Seals DR (2012). Vascular smooth muscle responsiveness to nitric oxide is reduced in healthy adults with increased adiposity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 303(6), H743-50.
  20. Kaplon RE, Walker AE, Seals DR (2011). Plasma norepinephrine is an independent predictor of vascular endothelial function with aging in healthy women. J Appl Physiol (1985), 111(5), 1416-21.
  21. Jablonski KL, Chonchol M, Pierce GL, Walker AE, Seals DR (2011). 25-Hydroxyvitamin D deficiency is associated with inflammation-linked vascular endothelial dysfunction in middle-aged and older adults. Hypertension, 57(1), 63-9.
  22. Pierce GL, Eskurza I, Walker AE, Fay TN, Seals DR (2011). Sex-specific effects of habitual aerobic exercise on brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in middle-aged and older adults. Clin Sci (Lond), 120(1), 13-23.
  23. Walker AE, Seibert SM, Donato AJ, Pierce GL, Seals DR (2010). Vascular endothelial function is related to white blood cell count and myeloperoxidase among healthy middle-aged and older adults. Hypertension, 55(2), 363-9.
  24. Walker AE, Eskurza I, Pierce GL, Gates PE, Seals DR (2009). Modulation of vascular endothelial function by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with aging: influence of habitual exercise. Am J Hypertens, 22(3), 250-6.


  1. Donato AJ, Morgan RG, Walker AE, Lesniewski LA (2015). Cellular and molecular biology of aging endothelial cells. [Review]. J Mol Cell Cardiol, 89(Pt B), 122-35.


  1. Walker AE, Breevoort SR, Durrant JR, Machin DR, Dobson PS, Nielson EI, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA (2016). Effect of Age and High Fat Diet on the Pro-Atherogenic Response to Oscillatory Blood Flow [Abstract]. FASEB J, 30(730.4).
  2. Machin DR, Dobson PS, Ghaffari S, Walker AE, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2015). Age-related telomere uncapping occurs independent of telomere shortening in mouse endothelial cells [Abstract]. FASEB J, 29, 642.1.
  3. Reihl KD, Walker AE, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA (2015). Partial carotid ligation impairs middle cerebral artery endothelial function in old mice [Abstract]. FASEB J, 29(949.1).
  4. Reihl K, Walker A, Henson G, Donato A, Lesniewski A (2014). Effects of aging and high fat diet on endothelial function in middle cerebral arteries is not additive [Abstract]. FASEB J, 28(1070), 11.
  5. Walker AE, Henson GD, Reihl KD, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2014). SIRT1 overexpression protects against high fat diet-induced cerebral artery endothelial dysfunction [Abstract]. FASEB J, 28(1070), 10.
  6. Frech TM, Walker A, Barrett-Okeefe Z, Richardson R, Wray, DW, Donato, A (2013). áThe Clinical Utility Of Flow- Mediated Dilation In Systemic Sclerosis. Presented at American College of Rheumatology Meeting, San Diego, CA [Abstract].
  7. Walker AE, Henson GD, Reihl KD, Bramwell RC, Li DY, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2013). Augmented large artery stiffness suppresses cerebral artery endothelial function via oxidative stress mediated impairments in nitric oxide. Presented at Australian Vascular Biology Meeting, Barossa Valley, South Australia [Abstract].
  8. Walker AE, Henson GD, Reihl KD, Bramwell RC, Li DY, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2013). Aortic stiffening as a result of reduced elastin content leads to cerebral artery dysfunction [Abstract]. FASEB J, 27(1194), 3.
  9. Henson GD, Reihl KD, Walker AE, Bramwell RC, Donato AJ, Lesniewski LA (2013). Morphological Changes Underlying High Fat Diet-Associated Arterial Stiffening Differ with Advancing Age [Abstract]. FASEB J, 27(1194), 16.
  10. Walker AE, McCullagh JP, Lesniewski LA, Donato AJ (2013). Smaller cerebrovascular arteries have a greater age- related endothelial dysfunction and a blunted response to life-long caloric restriction [Abstract]. FASEB J, 26(685), 31.