James R. Baker, Jr. MD

Dr. Baker is the founding Director of the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center and the Ruth Dow Doan Professor at Michigan Medicine. His academic accomplishments are varied and significant. For over 20 years, Dr. Baker was the Chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the U-M. He is also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and the Director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences. Dr. Baker’s research is in the area of immunology and host defense, evolving into nanomaterials and their applications in therapeutics. He has invented new forms of synthetic lipid and polymeric nanostructures, which have resulted in the development of new approaches to therapeutic molecules and vaccines.

Dr. Baker has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 50 patents. He has given invited plenary lectures at over 100 international meetings and served on the boards of 17 companies and scientific organizations. He has been a member of the council of advisors for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Bush and Obama White House, and testified before Congress on multiple occasions. His prior accolades include the Distinguished University Innovator Award from the U-M Office of the Vice President for Research and the Damen Award for Distinguished alumnus from the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.

His commercial activities include founding 4 companies and serving as Senior Vice President and Global Head of the Vaccine Franchise at Merck. For the past 5 years he was the CEO and CMO of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) the national food allergy foundation. His expertise spans the entire arc of therapeutic development from bench to commercial approval.

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