Tania A. Baker is the Edwin C. Whitehead Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University in 1988. Her graduate research was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Arthur Kornberg and focused on mechanisms of initiation of DNA replication. She did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Kiyoshi Mizuuchi at the National Institutes of Health, studying the mechanism and regulation of DNA transposition.
Her current research explores mechanisms and regulation of enzyme-catalyzed protein unfolding, ATP-dependent protein degradation and remodeling of the proteome during cellular stress responses. Professor Baker has served terms as both the Associate Head and Head of MIT’s Biology Department. Professor Baker received the 2001 Eli Lilly Research Award from the American Society of Microbiology. In 2000 she was awarded the MIT School of Science Teaching Prize for Undergraduate Education and in 2008 she was elected as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow for her contributions to education. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology. In 2014 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stanford Medical Center Alumni Association. Professor Baker is coauthor (with Arthur Kornberg) of the book DNA Replication (2nd edition) as well as of the 5th, 6th and 7th editions of Watson’s influential text Molecular Biology of the Gene. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and two children and enjoys sea kayaking and fiber arts.