Meet Walker Blackston

I am an epidemiologist and data analyst for the State of Louisiana with advanced biostatistical training from both Univerity of Alabama at Birmingham and Tulane University. I am an aspiring writer (nonfiction and long-form journalism) and professor of medicine interested in cultivating a deep life of family and work.

Proud Mississippian transplant to New Orleans who loves his fiance, his golden retriever, and updating his priors.

Interests

  • Cardiometabolic dysfunction
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Endocrinology
  • Precision medicine

Education

  • PhD Fellowship in Epidemiology, 2019-2020

    Tulane University

  • M.S.P.H in Epidemiology, 2018

    University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health

  • B.A. in English and Philosophy, 2015

    Birmingham-Southern College

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

COVID-19 Relief Epidemiologist

Louisiana Department of Health, Department of Infectious Diseases

Apr 2020 – Present

Responsibilities

  • Data cleaning of electronic lab reports
  • Automate reporting in R
  • Analyze proprietary data; Mapping and visualizing results
  • Inform policy decisions at state level for COVID-19 response
 
 
 
 
 

Intern

VIA LINK 2-1-1

Apr 2020 – Present

Responsibilities

  • Analyzing data and building dashboards in Power BI
  • Contacting CEO’s of other 2-1-1 services across United States
  • Integrating CDC/National open-source data with our dashboard
 
 
 
 
 

PhD Fellow

Tulane University

Aug 2019 – May 2020
Epidemiology Department Research Council PhD Fellowship, mentored by: Amanda Anderson, PhD and Andrew Chapple, PhD and biostatistician at Louisiana State University

Blog

On working from home dress codes

About two months ago, we began one of the largest experiments on work and productivity in recent memory. Within the realm of knowledge work, where working from home is most prevalent, we are asked to turn our previous havens of relaxation, comfort, and family time into battle stations whizzing with Zoom meetings and email checks.

Would simply thinking better of someone make them so?

Having just finished a few works of Jonathan Haidt and Stephen Pinker, I am left with recurring question: “what parts of our culture and society might operate as self-fulfilling prophesies?” Even more directly, might otherwise “bad” people operate differently if we assumed what Haidt and Louikianoff call the “principle of charitability?

Seneca at the photocopier: Practicing stoicism as an graduate intern

Jack Worthy punches the elevator call button as a steaming cup of Folgers sloshes onto his naked wrist. His punishment for lateness is compounded by his perception of today’s upcoming duties.