PKD Connection Blog

Walk for PKD

Why I Walk: Rachel Gallagher, Ph.D.

Dr. Gallagher (in teal) with members of team Somlo and the Knockouts

Our researchers are hard at work to find treatments and a cure for PKD, but with the first Walk for PKD event only two weeks away, they’re also working on fundraising! We recently reached out to Dr. Rachel Gallagher, head of Somlo and the Knockouts at the Yale School of Medicine, to hear about why she walks for PKD:

PKD Foundation (PKDF): What is your relationship with PKD?
Rachel Gallagher (RG): I am a scientist working on PKD.

PKDF: What led you to pursue a career in PKD research?
RG: My PhD thesis was based on studying the genetics of kidney development and the relationship to disease, one of which was PKD. Once I graduated, I actively pursued a postdoc in labs that studied PKD.

Dr. Gallagher walking with her team

PKDF: Why do you Walk for PKD?
RG: I have been a volunteer for the Connecticut chapter since 2008. The PKD Foundation has supported my research ever since I started working in the USA. PKD researchers rely heavily on support from the Foundation, and without fundraising events like the Walk for PKD, we wouldn’t be able to do much of our work. I walk for PKD not only to help with the fundraising efforts, but also to engage with patients and their families.

PKDF: How do you and your team plan to fundraise this year?
RG: I work with a great group of people. There are several research groups at Yale that have an interest in PKD and this year we plan to expand by getting more teams involved, therefore increasing the amount of people fundraising.

Somlo and the Knockouts at the 2013 Walk for PKD

PKDF: What advice would you give to someone who wants to participate in the Walk?
RG: It’s extremely easy to join the Walk online as an individual or as a team. It’s a great day out, too. At the Walk, you have a chance to meet with other people in a similar situation and at some Walks you can interact with the researchers who benefit from your efforts. It’s a chance to engage and learn about local events and make new connections.

The Walk for PKD is our signature fundraising event and 100% of each donation goes directly to fund PKD research. Create or join your Walk team and start fundraising today at!


  1. Jeffrey Crumble says:

    I would like to walk for PKD as long as it in Worcester I will not go to Boston when and where is the walk for PKD

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