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Rachel K. Walker


Associate Professor & PhD Program Director

University of Massachusetts Amherst


Rachel Walker (they/them) is the first nurse inventor to serve as an Invention Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They’re an Associate Professor, PhD Program Director, and Associate Director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Health & Human Performance: a translational science center specializing in A.I., sensors, nanotechnology, and mHealth.

Their scholarship focuses on emancipatory approaches to health innovation, digital defense, and co-creating environments that promote dignity, function, and well-being in the context of symptom-related disability, medical gaslighting, and the matrix of domination.

They’ve consulted on policy for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, White House, UnitedHealth, Facebook and other industries. They are an active collaborator in the Design Justice Network, Research Committee Co-Chair for the National Nursing LGBTQ+ Health Summit, creator of the Critical Perspectives department in Oncology Nursing Forum, and co-founder of Nursing Mutual Aid, a resource-sharing collective and first nursing Twitter conference (>10m impressions globally) designed to foster radical solidarity with communities marginalized during COVID19.

Their inventions include a portable IV fluid generating system for disasters, sensor technology to combat medical gaslighting of fatigue, a handheld device to detect chemotherapy in body fluids, and a digital platform for assessing home accessibility. Recent features about their advocacy for more inclusive, equity-centered invention practices have appeared in Forbes, Scientific American, TEDx, on NPR, television, and in Science.

Following service in Peace Corps-Mali, they completed their BS, Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Decolonize nursing. Abolish ICE.

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