Philip Baker

Philip Baker BMedSci, BM, BS, DM, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, FMedSci, Director – Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, Development Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health, Consultant Obstetrician and Senior Scientist, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Professor Philip Baker was recruited to New Zealand to the joint positions of Director of Gravida: the National Centre for Growth and Development and Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland; he is also a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Gravida brings together leading investigators from different disciplines, is New Zealand’s largest research centre, and is one of the world’s biggest and best funded pregnancy/child research centres. Professor Baker graduated from the Nottingham University (UK) and was subsequently awarded a Doctorate in Medicine. He then completed his training as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in the UK.

Professor Baker has balanced clinical practice in obstetrics with his research career. He has published 16 textbooks and over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has an H-index of approximately 60. He has been able to obtain research monies (>$50M) both for his own research portfolio, and also for each of the institutions he has worked for (>$80M). The calibre of his research led to his election as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) in 2008. In addition he was principal author of the position paper on “Health of Women and Children” considered at the G8 Summit in June 2010.

Studies investigating pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction form major parts of his research portfolio; he is currently co-PI of MRC (UK) and EU FP7 programme grants and a Wellcome Trust Translational award. He has made a major/significant contribution to our understanding of these conditions and is now translating his work for patient benefit, as exemplified by a multicentre clinical trial to determine if Sildenafil therapy benefits pregnancies complicated by severe fetal growth restriction, and by studies of the use of metabolomic biomarkers to screen for problem pregnancies.

In addition to his work in New Zealand, he has established a pregnancy research centre in Chongqing, China.