Dr. Walter is the division chief of the University of South Florida (USF) and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Programs. She is the Robert A. Good Endowed Chair of the USF Division of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, and an associate professor of pediatrics, medicine and molecular biology in the USF Morsani College of Medicine. She serves as director of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. Her research interests include understanding the (severe) combined immunodeficiencies, and breech in tolerance in primary immune disorders leading to autoimmunity and inflammation. Dr. Walter has specific clinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with (severe) combined immunodeficiencies, in particular those with recombination activating gene (RAG) variants. She is focusing on genetic evaluation, mechanism-based treatment therapies for non-infectious complications and involved in the care of patients with definitive therapies such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and gene therapy protocols.
Dr. Walter is an international expert in primary immunodeficiencies and immune dysregulation. Her research interest is to better understand diseases associated with the under and overactive immune system. The ultimate goal of her research and clinical care is to define strategies for the early detection of susceptible individuals and novel approaches for treatment reflecting precision medicine. Her studies in patients and animal models focus on autoimmune complications in combined immunodeficiencies (CID), and genetic diagnostic approach for severe combined immunodeficiency and other CID. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Jeffrey Modell Foundation and institutional grants from Johns Hopkins All Children’s and USF. These funded studies address recombination activating gene (RAG) defects, awareness for PID among patients with autoimmune cytopenias, and WHIM syndrome (a rare, chronic and life-threatening primary immunodeficiency with warts, low immunoglobulins and neutropenia).
Dr. Walter is the lead investigator for the first national genetic screening study to aid in diagnosis of patients with WHIM syndrome. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, has contributed to several book chapters on primary immunodeficiencies, and serves as a reviewer for top journals in the field. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and serves on the organization’s primary immunodeficiency disease committee. She has received numerous honors and awards from organizations including AAAAI, the Clinical Immunology Society, and the National Institutes of Health. She has contributed to the training of pediatricians and allergy/immunology specialists with the development of educational videos.
Dr. Walter earned her medical degree and Ph.D. at the University of Pecs Medical School in Hungary. She completed a research fellowship in infectious diseases at the Center for Pediatric Research at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. She also completed a fellowship in pediatric allergy immunology at Boston Children’s Hospital.