Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Vonn Walter, PhD

Vonn Walter, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Vonn Walter's primary research field is cancer genomics, particularly gene expression profiling, DNA copy number analysis and integrated analysis of multiple genomic data types. He is interested in all aspects of RNA sequencing data analysis, including pre-processing, normalization, differential expression analysis, unsupervised clustering, development of gene expression classifiers, pathway analysis, and network analysis. His PhD thesis led to the development of the DiNAMIC algorithm for assessing the statistical significance of recurrent genomic aberrations, such as regions of the genome where DNA copy number gains or losses are observed across multiple subjects. He also created the mVisAGe R package for computing and visualizing bivariate correlations that can be used to perform exploratory analyses for identifying regions of the genome where underling genomic aberrations affect the expression of regional genes.

Dr. Walter enjoys team science, and plays a variety of roles in ongoing collaborations with researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and elsewhere. He is a member of the Biostatistics/Bioinformatics Shared Resource of Penn State Cancer Institute.

  • Neoplasms
  • Mutation
  • Therapeutics
  • Survival
  • DNA
  • Genes
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Gene Expression
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Genome

Recent Publications


Krawiec, C, Williams, D, Walter, V & Thomas, N 2022, 'Evaluation of reported medical services provided to pediatric viral bronchiolitis diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic', Respiratory Medicine and Research, vol. 81, 100909.
Johnson, MT, Xin, P, Cory Benson, J, Pathak, T, Walter, V, Emrich, SM, Yoast, RE, Zhang, X, Cao, G, Panettieri, RA & Trebak, M 2022, 'STIM1 is a core trigger of airway smooth muscle remodeling and hyperresponsiveness in asthma', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 119, no. 1, e2114557118.


Stoltzfus, KC, Shen, B, Tchelebi, L, Trifiletti, DM, Gusani, NJ, Walter, V, Wang, M & Zaorsky, NG 2021, 'Authors’ Reply: To the Letter to the Editor by Kessel et al', JNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. XLIII-XLIV.
for the Efraim investigators and the Nine-I study group 2021, 'Bacteremia in critically ill immunocompromised patients with acute hypoxic respiratory failure: A post-hoc analysis of a prospective multicenter multinational cohort', Journal of Critical Care, vol. 64, pp. 114-119.
Sinha, I, Modesto, J, Krebs, NM, Stanley, AE, Walter, VA, Richie, JP, Muscat, JE & Sinha, R 2021, 'Changes in salivary proteome before and after cigarette smoking in smokers compared to sham smoking in nonsmokers: A pilot study', Tobacco Induced Diseases, vol. 19, 138336.
Damrauer, JS, Smith, MA, Walter, V, Thennavan, A, Mose, LE, Selitsky, SR & Hoadley, KA 2021, 'Genomic characterization of rare molecular subclasses of hepatocellular carcinoma', Communications Biology, vol. 4, no. 1, 1150.
Schlueter, D, Kovaleski, C, Walter, V, Thomas, NJ & Krawiec, C 2021, 'Impact of body mass index and initial respiratory support on pediatric subjects in acute respiratory failure', Respiratory care, vol. 66, no. 9, pp. 1425-1432.
Stoltzfus, KC, Shen, B, Tchelebi, L, Trifiletti, DM, Gusani, NJ, Walter, V, Wang, M & Zaorsky, NG 2021, 'Impact of facility surgical volume on survival in patients with cancer', JNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 495-503.
Tchelebi, LT, Shen, B, Wang, M, Gusani, NJ, Walter, V, Abrams, R, Verma, V & Zaorsky, NG 2021, 'Impact of radiation therapy facility volume on survival in patients with cancer', Cancer, vol. 127, no. 21, pp. 4081-4090.
Holt, J, Walter, V, Yin, X, Marron, D, Wilkerson, MD, Choi, HY, Zhao, X, Jo, H, Hayes, DN & Ko, YH 2021, 'Integrative analysis of miRNAs identifies clinically relevant epithelial and stromal subtypes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 831-842.
Bogale, K, Vrana, K, Konsavage, WR, Walter, V, Stuart, A, Dalessio, S, Koltun, W, Bernasko, N, Tinsley, A, Williams, E, Clarke, K & Coates, MD 2021, 'Polysubstance use in inflammatory bowel disease', Journal of Digestive Diseases, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 706-713.
Choe, AI, Ismail, R, Mack, J, Walter, V, Yang, AL & Dodge, DG 2022, 'Review of Variables Associated With Positive Surgical Margins Using Scout Reflector Localizations for Breast Conservation Therapy', Clinical Breast Cancer, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. e232-e238.
Lehrer, EJ, Stoltzfus, KC, Jones, BM, Gusani, NJ, Walter, V, Wang, M, Trifiletti, DM, Siva, S, Louie, AV & Zaorsky, NG 2021, 'Trends in diagnosis and treatment of metastatic cancer in the United States', American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials.


Coates, MD, Johri, A, Gorrepati, VS, Maheshwari, P, Dalessio, S, Walter, V, Stuart, A, Koltun, W, Bernasko, N, Tinsley, A, Williams, ED & Clarke, K 2021, 'Abdominal pain in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease', International Journal of Colorectal Disease, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 93-102.
El-Bayoumy, K, Christensen, ND, Hu, J, Viscidi, R, Stairs, DB, Walter, V, Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Muscat, JE & Richie, JP 2020, 'An integrated approach for preventing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers: Two etiologies with distinct and shared mechanisms of carcinogenesis', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 649-660.
Pathak, T, Gueguinou, M, Walter, V, Delierneux, C, Johnson, MT, Zhang, X, Xin, P, Yoast, RE, Emrich, SM, Yochum, GS, Sekler, I, Koltun, WA, Gill, DL, Hempel, N & Trebak, M 2020, 'Dichotomous role of the human mitochondrial na+ /ca2+ /li+ exchanger nclx in colorectal cancer growth and metastasis', eLife, vol. 9, e59686, pp. 1-41.
Coates, MD, Soriano, C, Dalessio, S, Stuart, A, Walter, V, Koltun, W, Bernasko, N, Tinsley, A, Clarke, K & Williams, ED 2020, 'Gastrointestinal hypoalgesia in inflammatory bowel disease', Annals of Gastroenterology, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 45-52.
LaBarge, B, Walter, V, Bann, DV & Goldenberg, D 2021, 'In-depth analysis of thyroid cancer mortality', Head and Neck, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 977-983.
Hartman, HE, Sun, Y, Devasia, TP, Chase, EC, Jairath, NK, Dess, RT, Jackson, WC, Morris, E, Li, P, Hochstedler, KA, Abbott, MR, Kidwell, KM, Walter, V, Wang, M, Wang, X, Zaorsky, NG, Schipper, MJ & Spratt, DE 2020, 'Integrated Survival Estimates for Cancer Treatment Delay among Adults with Cancer during the COVID-19 Pandemic', JAMA Oncology, vol. 6, no. 12, pp. 1881-1889.
Song, S, Nguyen, V, Schrank, T, Mulvaney, K, Walter, V, Wei, D, Orvis, T, Desai, N, Zhang, J, Hayes, DN, Zheng, Y, Major, MB & Weissman, BE 2020, 'Loss of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling alters NRF2 signaling in non-small cell lung carcinoma', Molecular Cancer Research, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 1777-1788.
Christensen, ND, Chen, KM, Hu, J, Stairs, DB, Sun, YW, Aliaga, C, Balogh, KK, Atkins, H, Shearer, D, Li, J, Brendle, SA, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Walter, V, Viscidi, R & El-Bayoumy, K 2021, 'The environmental pollutant and tobacco smoke constituent dibenzo[def,p]chrysene is a co-factor for malignant progression of mouse oral papillomavirus infections', Chemico-Biological Interactions, vol. 333, 109321.
Yoast, RE, Emrich, SM, Zhang, X, Xin, P, Johnson, MT, Fike, AJ, Walter, V, Hempel, N, Yule, DI, Sneyd, J, Gill, DL & Trebak, M 2020, 'The native ORAI channel trio underlies the diversity of Ca2+ signaling events', Nature communications, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 2444.


Buckwalter, JM, Chan, W, Shuman, L, Wildermuth, T, Ellis-Mohl, J, Walter, V, Warrick, JI, Wu, XR, Kaag, M, Raman, JD & Degraff, DJ 2019, 'Characterization of histone deacetylase expression within in vitro and in vivo bladder cancer model systems', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, no. 10, 2599.
McDonald, AC, Vira, M, Walter, V, Shen, J, Raman, JD, Sanda, MG, Patil, D & Taioli, E 2019, 'Circulating microRNAs in plasma among men with low-grade and high-grade prostate cancer at prostate biopsy', Prostate, vol. 79, no. 9, pp. 961-968.
Zaorsky, NG, Zhang, Y, Walter, V, Tchelebi, LT, Chinchilli, VM & Gusani, NJ 2019, 'Clinical trial accrual at initial course of therapy for cancer and its impact on survival', JNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1309-1316.
Krawiec, C, Walter, V & Myers, AK 2019, 'Effect of student-directed solicitation of evaluation forms on the timeliness of completion by preceptors in the United States', Journal of educational evaluation for health professions, vol. 16.
Osei-Amponsa, V, Buckwalter, JM, Shuman, L, Zheng, Z, Yamashita, H, Walter, V, Wildermuth, T, Ellis-Mohl, J, Liu, C, Warrick, JI, Shantz, LM, Feehan, RP, Al-Ahmadie, H, Mendelsohn, C, Raman, JD, Kaestner, KH, Wu, XR & DeGraff, DJ 2020, 'Hypermethylation of FOXA1 and allelic loss of PTEN drive squamous differentiation and promote heterogeneity in bladder cancer', Oncogene, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 1302-1317.
Lee, SY, Walter, V, Zhu, J, Salzberg, AC, Liu, DJ & Connor, JR 2019, 'Impact of HFE variants and sex in lung cancer', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 12, e0226821.
Zaleski, M, Gogoj, A, Walter, V, Raman, JD, Kaag, M, Merrill, SB, Drabick, J, Joshi, M, Holder, S, DeGraff, DJ & Warrick, JI 2019, 'Mitotic activity in noninvasive papillary urothelial carcinoma: its value in predicting tumor recurrence and comparison with the contemporary 2-tier grading system', Human Pathology, vol. 84, pp. 275-282.
Pool, C, Walter, V, Bann, D, Goldenberg, D, Broach, J, Hennessy, M, Cottrill, E, Washburn, E, Williams, N, Crist, H, Imamura, Y & Warrick, JI 2019, 'Molecular characterization of tumors meeting diagnostic criteria for the non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP)', Virchows Archiv, vol. 474, no. 3, pp. 341-351.
Coates, MD, Seth, N, Clarke, K, Abdul-Baki, H, Mahoney, N, Walter, V, Regueiro, MD, Ramos-Rivers, C, Koutroubakis, IE, Bielefeldt, K & Binion, DG 2020, 'Opioid Analgesics Do Not Improve Abdominal Pain or Quality of Life in Crohn’s Disease', Digestive Diseases and Sciences, vol. 65, no. 8, pp. 2379-2387.
Yamashita, H, Kawasawa, YI, Shuman, L, Zheng, Z, Tran, T, Walter, V, Warrick, JI, Chen, G, Al-Ahmadie, H, Kaag, M, Wong, PK, Raman, JD & DeGraff, DJ 2019, 'Repression of transcription factor AP-2 alpha by PPARγ reveals a novel transcriptional circuit in basal-squamous bladder cancer', Oncogenesis, vol. 8, no. 12, 69.
Peters, JM, Walter, V, Patterson, AD & Gonzalez, FJ 2019, 'Unraveling the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ) expression in colon carcinogenesis', npj Precision Oncology, vol. 3, no. 1, 26.


Labarge, B, Walter, V, Lengerich, EJ, Crist, H, Karamchandani, D, Williams, N, Goldenberg, D, Bann, DV & Warrick, JI 2018, 'Evidence of a positive association between malpractice climate and thyroid cancer incidence in the United States', PloS one, vol. 13, no. 7, e0199862.
Lechner, M, Chakravarthy, AR, Walter, V, Masterson, L, Feber, A, Jay, A, Weinberger, PM, McIndoe, RA, Forde, CT, Chester, K, Kalavrezos, N, O'Flynn, P, Forster, M, Jones, TM, Vaz, FM, Hayes, DN & Fenton, TR 2018, 'Frequent HPV-independent p16/INK4A overexpression in head and neck cancer', Oral Oncology, vol. 83, pp. 32-37.
Worley, BL, Kim, YS, Mardini, J, Zaman, R, Leon, KE, Vallur, PG, Nduwumwami, A, Warrick, JI, Timmins, PF, Kesterson, JP, Phaëton, R, Lee, NY, Walter, V, Endres, L, Mythreye, K, Aird, KM & Hempel, N 2019, 'GPx3 supports ovarian cancer progression by manipulating the extracellular redox environment', Redox Biology, vol. 25, 101051.
Zevallos, JP, Mazul, AL, Walter, V & Hayes, DN 2019, 'Gene Expression Subtype Predicts Nodal Metastasis and Survival in Human Papillomavirus–Negative Head and Neck Cancer', Laryngoscope, vol. 129, no. 1, pp. 154-161.
The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network 2018, 'Genomic, Pathway Network, and Immunologic Features Distinguishing Squamous Carcinomas', Cell Reports, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 194-212.e6.
Gonzalez-Lopez, E, Kawasawa, YI, Walter, V, Zhang, L, Koltun, WA, Huang, X, Vrana, KE & Coates, MD 2018, 'Homozygosity for the SCN10A polymorphism rs6795970 is associated with hypoalgesic inflammatory bowel disease phenotype', Frontiers in Medicine, vol. 5, no. NOV, 324.
George, J, Walter, V, Peifer, M, Alexandrov, LB, Seidel, D, Leenders, F, Maas, L, Müller, C, Dahmen, I, Delhomme, TM, Ardin, M, Leblay, N, Byrnes, G, Sun, R, De Reynies, A, McLeer-Florin, A, Bosco, G, Malchers, F, Menon, R, Altmüller, J, Becker, C, Nürnberg, P, Achter, V, Lang, U, Schneider, PM, Bogus, M, Soloway, MG, Wilkerson, MD, Cun, Y, McKay, JD, Moro-Sibilot, D, Brambilla, CG, Lantuejoul, S, Lemaitre, N, Soltermann, A, Weder, W, Tischler, V, Brustugun, OT, Lund-Iversen, M, Helland, Å, Solberg, S, Ansén, S, Wright, G, Solomon, B, Roz, L, Pastorino, U, Petersen, I, Clement, JH, Sänger, J, Wolf, J, Vingron, M, Zander, T, Perner, S, Travis, WD, Haas, SA, Olivier, M, Foll, M, Büttner, R, Hayes, DN, Brambilla, E, Fernandez-Cuesta, L & Thomas, RK 2018, 'Integrative genomic profiling of large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas reveals distinct subtypes of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors', Nature communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 1048.
Warrick, JI, Sjödahl, G, Kaag, M, Raman, JD, Merrill, S, Shuman, L, Chen, G, Walter, V & DeGraff, DJ 2019, 'Intratumoral Heterogeneity of Bladder Cancer by Molecular Subtypes and Histologic Variants [Figure presented]', European Urology, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 18-22.
Walter, V, Du, Y, Danilova, L, Hayward, MC & Hayes, DN 2018, 'MVisAGe identifies concordant and discordant genomic alterations of driver genes in squamous tumors', Cancer Research, vol. 78, no. 12, pp. 3375-3385.
The Cancer Genome Atlas Network 2018, 'The Integrated Genomic Landscape of Thymic Epithelial Tumors', Cancer Cell, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 244-258.e10.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)