The Baker Lab has two major areas of investigation. The first is understanding lifespan evolution between species. The lifespans of organisms show a tremendous degree of variance, even among vertebrates. The pigmy goby, Eviota sigillata, has a maximum lifespan of 60 days, whereas the Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus, has been estimated to live up to 4 centuries. In animals housed under optimal conditions, with unlimited access to food, shelter from the elements, protection from predation, and access to veterinary care, the degree of variation in lifespan between species far outweighs the degree of variation within species. Given that environmental differences are minimized under these circumstances, this suggests that the major determinants of lifespan variation between species are genetic. Yet, the underlying genes and pathways that control lifespan between species are poorly understood. We are developing computational and biochemical tools to uncover the mechanisms resulting in the vast differences in lifespan observed in nature.
Our second major area of research involves work on Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDSs). Defects in creatine metabolism result in a devastating neurological syndrome affecting pediatric patients. Unfortunately, the predominant form of CCDS (type I or Creatine Transporter Deficiency, CTD) currently has no effective treatment options. We are currently using a combination of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), scATAC-seq, and high resolution microscopy to develop treatment strategies for this and related disorders.
Baker SA and Rutter J. Metabolites as signaling molecules. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2023 Jan 12. doi: 10.1038/s41580-022-00572-w. PMID: 36635456
Baker SA, Wong LK, Wieland R, Bulterys P, Allard L, Nguyen L, Quach T, Nguyen A, Chaesuh E, Cheng P, Bowen R, Virk M. Validated transport conditions maintain the quality of washed red blood cells. Transfusion. 2022 Sep;62(9):1860-1870. PMID: 36084205
Baker SA, Gajera CR, Wawro AM, Corces MR, Montine TJ. GATM and GAMT synthesize creatine locally throughout the mammalian body and within oligodendrocytes of the brain. Brain Res. 2021 Nov 1;1770:147627. PMID: 34418357
Wawro AM, Gajera CR, Baker SA, Nirschl, JJ, Vogel H, Montine TJ. Creatine transport and pathological changes in creatine transporter deficient mice. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2021 Jan 2. PMID: 33389772
Baker SA, Kwok S, Berry GJ, Montine TJ. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression increases with age in patients requiring mechanical ventilation. PLoS One. 2021 Feb 16;16(2):e0247060. PMID: 33592054
Baker SA, Jin J, Pfaffroth C, Vu T, Zehnder JL. DOAC-Stop permits the safe and effective removal of direct oral anticoagulant interference in lupus anticoagulant testing. Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2021. Jan 27;5(2):314-325. PMID: 33733031
Ito-Ishida A, Yamalanchili HK, Shao Y, Baker SA, Heckman LD, Lavery LA, Kim JY, Lombardi LM, Sun Y, Liu Z, Zoghbi HY. Genome-wide distribution of linker histone H1.0 is independent of MeCP2. Nat Neurosci. 2018 Jun;21(6):794-798. PMID: 29802390
Lombardi LM, Zaghlula M, Sztainberg Y, Baker SA, Klisch TJ, Tang AA, Huang EJ, Zoghbi HY. An RNA interference screen identifies druggable regulators of MeCP2 stability. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Aug 23;9(404). pii: eaaf7588 PMID: 28835516
Goodnough L, Baker S, Shah N. How I Use Clinical Decision Support to Improve Red Blood Cell Utilization. Transfusion. 2016. Oct;56(10):2406-2411. PMID: 27546388
Baker S*, Lombardi L*, Zoghbi H. Karyopherin Alpha 3 and Karyopherin Alpha 4 Proteins Mediate Nuclear Import of MeCP2. J Biol Chem. 2015 Sep 11;290(37):22485-93. PMID: 26245896 *equal contribution
Baker S, Chen L, Wilkins A, Yu P, Lichtarge O, Zoghbi H. An AT-hook domain in MeCP2 determines the clinical course of Rett syndrome and related disorders. Cell. 2013 Feb 28;152(5):984-96. PMID: 23452848
Welcome New Lab Members
Welcome to the following new members of our lab!
Chloe Wells, Jon Sorgenfrei, and Devin Albertson.
We are excited to have you on the team!
Are you looking to make a difference! If you are looking to join a research team that is looking to make a difference in the world, contact us.