Dr. Baker joined the Department of Oral Biology as an Assistant Professor in July 2019.
Dr. Baker received a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on investigating the role of Wnt1 Inducible Secreted Protein 3 (WISP-3)/CCN6 in osteoarthritis and chondrocyte biology. She completed post-doctoral work on bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) at the NIH and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her post-doctoral research focused on the influence of cholesterol and the lipid raft protein Caveolin-1 on MSC growth, differentiation and cell signaling.
During her postdoc Dr. Baker developed an interest in teaching and became an instructor for the Foundations of Biology Laboratory program within the Department of Biological Sciences in the University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. In this program she taught a broad range of topics including biochemical testing, microscopy, molecular biology and genetics to undergraduates intending to major in biology and health-related fields.
After completing her postdoc Dr. Baker continued to expand her teaching experience in the Department of Biological Sciences as full-time teaching faculty. In this role she was course director for large enrollment undergraduate Foundations of Biology Laboratory 1 and 2 courses.
Dr Baker joined the School of Dental Medicine to teach dental hygiene students, predoctoral students and graduate residents. She is currently course director for the dental hygiene biological sciences courses and the scientific writing course for graduate residents. She also guest lectures in the molecular and cell biology course for first year predoctoral students.
Dr. Baker aims to create engaging classes and an inclusive classroom environment, in which students are inspired to actively participate in their learning. She is interested in implementing partially flipped classrooms and developing active, inquiry-driven activities to teach subjects in the biological sciences.