Stephen J. Walker, PhD, professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Walker’s current studies are focused broadly on understanding the molecular and functional genomic features that underlie complex disease, specifically: (1) autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and an associated inflammatory bowel condition (ASD associated ileocolitis) in children and, (2) interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), a complex urologic disorder in men and women aged 18-80 years old. By working directly with clinicians who treat these patients, Dr. Walker has been able to amass truly unique tissue banks from which to draw biomaterials (e.g. biopsy tissue, whole blood, serum) for molecular profiling. The primary goals for these studies are: (a) to understand the biology of the disease, (b) to identify clinically relevant subgroups with these complex disorders, and, (c) to use actual patient specimens, to identify biomarkers that will aid in diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting with these very heterogeneous conditions.