Professor of Neuroimmunology
QMUL London
[email protected]
Bedford College, University of London BSc (Zoology)
Hunterian Institute, University of London PhD (Immunology)
Employment History:
QMUL London
UCL Institute of Neurology
UCL Institute of Neurology
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology,
Senior Lecturer
Principal Research Fellow/Senior Lecturer
Hunterian Institute London,
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences Research Assistant
Following completing a BSc in Zoology in 1983, he performed post-graduate studies at the Royal
College of Surgeons of England on immune tolerance and delayed hypersensitivity responses
in the skin. These formed the basis for his PhD. Following the award of Angela Limerick
Lectureship to study multiple sclerosis, he turned his attention to delayed hypersensitivity
responses in the brain. He developed a novel relapsing model of multiple sclerosis in Biozzi Mice
in 1989 and has been working with them ever since. Although his interests have varied over
time, his focus has been on control of neuroimmunological disease and its translational
relevance to multiple sclerosis (MS) and has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers.
His early career focused on Genetics; T cell biology and neuroimmunology and blood brain
barrier function to name a few examples. In 1994 he became the first ever recipient of a Multiple
Sclerosis Society UK Senior fellowship. He moved to the Institute of Ophthalmology to develop
ocular models of central nervous system autoimmunity and further develop blood-brain barrier
studies to complement the MS work. There his group uncovered the first experimental evidence
for symptomatic benefit of cannabis and cannabinoids in the control of spasticity. This work led
to the development of cannabis-based licensed medicines for treatment of spasticity in MS. His
research has focussed on developing alternatives to cannabis that exploit the endocannabinoid
system to treat symptoms and promote neuroprotection. He moved to the Institute of Neurology
in 1999 to continue his work on spasticity and there developed a novel anti-spastic drug that
lacks the side-effect potential of current anti-spastic compounds. He founded a University spinout company in 2005 to develop his intellectual property and the drug recently completed first in
man studies, with plans to enter trials in MS in late 2014. Having become adept at controlling
the peripheral immune response, he used this knowledge to 3Rs “refined” EAE models and
created secondary progressive MS models to target studies towards neuroprotection. In 2006
he teamed up with Professor Gavin Giovannoni and moved to Queen Mary University of London,
to lead the pre-clinical part of a translational neuroscience team. In addition to trials on symptom
control, the team have recently translated some neuroprotection studies from animals into
human and have developed some novel trial designs to speed the drug development process.
The team have also embraced public engagement of science to run a MS research blog
Baker D, Amor S. (2010) Quality control of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Mult Scler.
Baker D, Gerritsen W, Rundle J, Amor S. (2011) Critical appraisal of animal models of multiple sclerosis.
Mult Scler. 17:647-657.
Al-Izki, Pryce G, Jackson SJ, Giovannoni G, Baker D. (2011) Immunosuppression with FTY720 is
insufficient to prevent secondary progressive neurodegeneration in experimental autoimmune
encephalomyelitis. J Mullt Scler. 17:939-48.
Baker D, Amor S. (2012) Publication guidelines for refereeing and reporting on animal use in experimental
autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neuroimmunol. 242:78-83
Al-Izki S, Pryce G, O’Neill JK, Butter C, Giovannoni G, Baker D (2012). Practical guide to the induction of
relapsing progressive experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the Biozzi ABH mouse. Mult sclera
Relat Dis. 1:29-38
M Kipp M, van der Star B, Vogel DYS, Puentes F, van der Valk P, Baker D, Amor S (2012) Experimental
in vivo and in vitro Models of Multiple Sclerosis: EAE and beyond. Mult scler Rel Dis. 1:15-28
Baker D, Pryce G, Jackson SJ, Bolton C, Giovannoni G. (2012) The biology that underpins the therapeutic
potential of cannabis-based medicines for the control of spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Mult sclera Relat
Dis. 1:64-75.
Hampton DW, Serio A, Pryce G, Al-Izki S, Franklin RJ, Giovannoni G, Baker D, Chandran S. (2013)
Neurodegeneration progresses despite complete elimination of clinical relapses in a mouse model of
multiple sclerosis. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 1(1):84.
Sisay S, Pryce G, Jackson SJ, Tanner C, Ross RA, Michael GJ, Selwood DL, Giovannoni G, Baker D.
(2013) Genetic background can result in a marked or minimal effect of gene knockout (GPR55 and CB 2
receptor) in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis models of multiple sclerosis. PLoS One.
Lidster K, Jackson SJ, Ahmed Z, Munro P, Coffey P. Giovannoni G, Baker MD, Baker D. (2013)
Neuroprotection in a novel model of multiple sclerosis. PLoS One 8(11): e79188.
Puentes F, van der Star BJ, Victor M, Kipp M, Beyer C, Peferon-Baert R, Pryce G, Geritsen W, Huizinga
R, Reijerkerk A, van der Valk, P, Baker D, Amor S. (2013) T cell autoimmunity to neurofilament light in
EAE. J Neuroflammation. 10(1):118
Al-Izki S, Pryce G, Hankey DJR, Browne L, Clutterbuck L, Posada C, Chan AWE, Amor S, Perkins V,
Gerritsen WH, van der Valk P, Montoya A, Ghazaly EA, Joel SP, Garthwaite J, Giovannoni G, Selwood
DL, Baker D. (2014) Lesional-targeting of neuroprotection to the inflammatory penumbra in experimental
multiple sclerosis. Brain. 137:92-108.
Pryce G, Visintin C, Ramagopalan SV, Al-Izki S, de Faveri LE, Mein CA, Montpetit Hardcastle AJ, Kooij G,
de Vries HE, Amor S, Thomas SA, Ledent C, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Thompson AJ, Selwood DL,
Giovannon G, Baker D. (2014) Control of Spasticity in experimental multiple sclerosis using central nervous
system-excluded CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists. FASEB J. 28:117-130.
Baker D, Lidster K, Sottomayor A, Lidster K, Amor S (2014). Two Years Later: Journals Are Not Yet
Enforcing the ARRIVE Guidelines on Reporting Standards for Preclinical Animal Studies PLOSBiol.
Baker D, Amor S (2014). Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis is a good model of multiple sclerosis
if used wisely. Mult Scler Rel Dis May 2014 [Epub].