Principal Investigators

Denise Walker, PhD

Director, Innovative Programs Research Group
Research Professor, School of Social Work

More about Dr. Walker

Denise Walker is a Research Professor at the University of Washington, Director of the Innovative Programs Research Group and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of New Mexico, completed her predoctoral internship at Yale University and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. A main area of her research expertise is on the development and evaluation of interventions for cannabis use disorders for both adults and adolescents, utilizing brief interventions (Motivational Enhancement Therapy, MET), longer courses of treatment (MET+CBT), and aftercare. She has been involved in the development and evaluation of the Teen Marijuana Check-Up (TMCU), a school-based intervention to elicit self-referral by heavy using adolescents. The TMCU has been the focus of five clinical trials and is identified as an “Evidence Based” intervention on the NREPP.

An expert in motivational interviewing, she has created and tested MET interventions, and corresponding treatment manuals for trials on HIV prevention, cannabis disorders, domestic violence perpetrators, and for substance abuse and PTSD with active duty military personnel. For the past three years, Dr. Walker has been applying her work to psychosis populations and is currently the PI of a grant focused on the adaptation of MET to address cannabis use among young adults with psychosis.