Dr. Barker is currently director of ASU’s Transformative Healthcare Networks, co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and as a professor of practice within the School of Life Sciences, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is also the former Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), serving as the Deputy Director for Strategic Scientific Initiatives. In this role she has developed and implemented multi/trans-disciplinary programs in strategic areas of cancer research and advanced technologies including: the Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer; The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA); and the Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative for Cancer. Recently she led the development of a new initiative to develop a network of trans-disciplinary centers focused on the elucidation of the "physics" of cancer at all scales through the establishment of Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers. Dr. Barker has also led and collaborated on NCI's effort to develop contemporary resources for cancer research in the areas of biospecimens and bioinformatics (The Cancer Bioinformatics Grid) to support molecularly based personalized medicine. She serves as the co-chair of the NCI-FDA Interagency Task Force; co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the FNIH Biomarker Consortium; and oversees the NCI's international cancer research programs. Dr. Barker has a long history in research and the leadership and management of research and development in the academic, non-profit and private sectors. She served as senior scientist and subsequently a senior executive at Battelle Memorial Institute for 18 years; and co-founded and served as the CEO of a public biotechnology drug development company. She has received a number of awards for her contributions to cancer research, cancer patients, professional and advocacy organizations and the ongoing national effort to prevent and cure cancer. Her research interests include experimental therapeutics, tumor immunology, and free-radical biochemistry in cancer etiology and treatment. Dr. Barker completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the Ohio State University, where she trained in chemistry, immunology and microbiology.
Director of ASU Transformative Care Networks