Walker Symonds-Orr
Walker Symonds-Orr

Postbaccalaureate Researcher

Walker Symonds-Orr

Walker joined the Dolan Lab winter 2023, just in time to see the cherry blossoms in DC. Before coming to the East Coast, he studied molecular evolution in the charismatic Mimulus monkeyflower under Dr. Arielle Cooley at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He will begin a PhD program in the Biological Sciences department at the University of Maryland, College Park this fall.

He has wide-ranging interests in molecular virology, virus evolution, and viral immunology, including:

  • How mutations tune the properties of viral capsids for different environments
  • Using mutational scanning to explore mechanistic questions in humoral immunity development
  • How viral capsids maintain cell attachment while evading neutralizing antibodies
  • Using sequencing-based approaches to generate antigenic maps
  • Vaccine development for non-polio enteroviruses

Currently, he’s developing pilot projects using insertion-based tools in Enterovirus A71.

Outside of work, he enjoys craft projects of all manner.