Robert Baker, PhD

Robert Baker, PhD, Assistant Vice President and Manager of the Division of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at IITRI, is an experienced virologist, microbiologist and molecular biologist having more than 20 years of experience in infectious disease research. Dr. Baker earned his BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona where he also earned his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Baker oversees the infectious disease and biodefense program at IITRI that includes the operation of Animal Biosafety Level-2 and -3 (ABSL-2/3) containment laboratories for research conducted with highly pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and select agents. Dr. Baker’s background includes high-level positions at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Before joining IITRI in 2015, Dr. Baker was Director of Preclinical Microbiology and Immunotoxicology for a major respiratory research CRO. As Director for Research and Development at ATCC, he was Principal Investigator on their Biodefense and Emerging Infections (BEI) and Influenza Reagent Resource (IRR) programs. His current research focus is infectious disease animal models, vaccine development, assessment of antiviral drug efficacy, quantitative gene expression in eukaryotic systems, and clinical trial support. He has over 60 research publications, government reports and posters/presentations. Professional affiliations include the American Society for Microbiology, American Society for Virology, International Society for Antiviral Research, International Society for Infectious Diseases and the American Biological Safety Association.