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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor David Baker, PhD


Professor of Neuroimmunology

Centre: Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Telephone: 020 7882 2483
Twitter: @prof_mouse


Prof David Baker and his colleagues undertake research on basic science aspects of multiple sclerosis and this links to the clinical science aspects of multiple sclerosis run by Prof Gavin Giovannoni and Klaus Schmierer. His research has strong emphasis on developing methods for disease control.

Prof Baker received his B.Sc. in Zoology from Bedford College, University of London in 1983. He trained in immunology at The Hunterian Institute, University of London and received his Ph.D. in 1987 for studies on control of immune responses in delayed hypersensitivities of the skin. Through support of post-doctoral fellowships he began studying delayed hypersensitivities of the central nervous system, particularly as they relate to control of multiple sclerosis. He developed a novel relapsing-remitting model of multiple sclerosis in the late 1980s and since that time he has been working on experimental therapies for this condition.

He moved from the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London to its sister Institute at Neurology, UCL in 1999 and was awarded the title of Professor in 2004. He moved to the Blizard Institute at the end of 2006.  He was involved in the basic clinical inter-face for the development of novel treatments for multiple sclerosis and targeting autoimmunity, neuroprotection and symptom control. During the early 2000s, he began pioneering work on the symptomatic control of spasticity with cannabinoids, which underpinned the perception that cannabis could be used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

A number of his ideas, such as autoimmune tolerance, use of certain cytostatic agents and cannabinoids have been translated into the clinic. He has filed a number of patents and founded a University Spin-Out Company that developed a treatment to Phase II in hu-mans. More recently he has been re-examining the mechanisms of disease modifying treatments, focusing interest towards the memory B cell component as a new target that can incorporate the aetiology, pathology and response to therapy in multiple sclerosis. Prof Baker was active in understanding the biology of SARS-COV-2 infection in relation to multiple sclerosis and its treatment.

He links with Prof Giovannoni and Klaus Schmierer in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Prof Baker is an internationally recognised neuroimmunologist and has identified novel treatment strategies for experimental neuroimmunological conditions. 

  • The MS Blog
  • Member of the International Neuroimmunology Society
  • Member of British Society of Immunology
  • Founder of Canbex (University Spin-Out Company)
  • Reviewer for Many National International Journals and Grant Awarding Bodies 


  • BSc Life Sciences Neuroscience/ Immunology/Neuroimmunology
  • MBBS Medical Degree Year 1,Year 2, Year 4, MEDPRO.
  • iBSC Neuroscience
  • MSc Translational Neuroscience
  • MSc Neuroinflammation & Autoimmunity Module Lead ICMM928
  • Multiple sclerosis Preceptorships
  • Lecturer/Tutor, Project Supervisor  (BSc, iBC, MSc, Lab-based/Literature based projects)


Research Interests:

Multiple sclerosis research; Experimental models of multiple sclerosis; Immunosuppression; Neuroprotection; Repair; Symptom Control; B cell Biology, Treatment responses 

Recent and ongoing research projects

  • Mechanisms of action of B cell depleting immunotherapy
  • Detection and Functional Significance of Anti-Drug Antibody responses
  • Control of early multiple sclerosis with immunosuppressive agents.
  • Control of advanced multiple sclerosis with immunosuppressive agents.


  • Baker D, Ali L, Saxena G, Pryce G, Jones M, Schmierer K, Giovannoni G, Gnanapavan S, Munger KA, Samkoff L, Goodman A, Kamg AS. The irony of humanization: Alemtuzumab the first, but one of the most immunogenic, humanized monoclonal antibodies. Front Immunol.  2020; 11:124
  • Baker D, Pryce G, James LK, Marta M, Schmierer K. The ocrelizumab phase II extension trial suggests the potential to improve the risk: Benefit balance in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020; 44:102279.
  • Baker D, Roberts CAK, Pryce G, Kang AS, Marta M, Reyes S, Schmierer K, Giovannoni G, Amor S. COVID-19 vaccine-readiness for anti-CD20-depleting therapy in autoimmune diseases. Clin Exp Immunol. 2020; 202:149-161
  • Hurley MJ, Deacon RMJ, Chan AWE, Baker D, Selwood DL, Cogram P. Reversal of behavioural phenotype by the cannabinoid-like compound VSN16R in fragile X syndrome mice. Brain. 2022; 145:76-82.
  • Tallantyre EC, Vickaryous N, Anderson V, Asardag AN, Baker D, Bestwick J, Bramhall K, Chance R, Evangelou N, George K, Giovannoni G, Godkin A, Grant L, Harding KE, Hibbert A, Ingram G, Jones M, Kang AS, Loveless S, Moat SJ, Robertson NP, Schmierer K, Scurr MJ, Shah SN, Simmons J, Upcott M, Willis M, Jolles S, Dobson R. COVID-19 vaccine response in people with multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2022; 91:89-100. 
  • Nutma E, Fancy N, Weinert M, Tsartsalis S, Marzin MC, Muirhead RCJ, Falk I, Breur M, de Bruin J, Hollaus D, Pieterman R, Anink J, Story D, Chandran S, Tang J, Trolese MC, Saito T, Saido TC, Wilt-shire KH, Beltran-Lobo P, Phillips A, Antel J, Healy L, Dorion MF, Galloway DA, Benoit RY, Ceyzériat K, Badina A, Kovari E, Bendotti C, Aronica E, Radulescu CI, Hui Wong J, Barron AM, Smith AM, Barnes SJ, Hampton DW, van der Valk P, Jacobson S, Howell OH, Baker D, Kipp M, Kaddatz H, Tour-nier BB, Millet P, Matthews PM, Moore CS, Amor S, Owen DR. Translocator protein is a marker of activated microglia in rodent models but not human neurodegenerative diseases. Nature Communications 2023; in press.

Link to QMUL publications page:


Primary and Secondary PhD supervisor. All students completed within 4 years. 

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