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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Mark Baker


Non-clinical Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience

Centre: Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Telephone: 020 7882 2287


Mark Baker completed an honours degree in Physiology at Leeds University in 1981. Following his PhD studies on the hippocampus in St Andrews, he spent two post-docs with Hugh Bostock FRS at the Institute of Neurology studying the function and pharmacology of axonal ion channels, and he assisted Hugh in devising the methodology for ‘threshold-electrotonus’ recording, now used clinically to assess peripheral nerve function. Mark gained experience of pharmacology in industry at Pfizer in the 1980s, and then in the lab of J. Murdoch Ritchie FRS in the department of Pharmacology at Yale. While in the USA, Mark made a detailed characterization of the potassium channels expressed in Schwann cells, using polypeptide neurotoxins. Mark was a member of John Wood's molecular nociception group at UCL from 2000 to 2005, and he studied the effects of Na+ channel gene knock-out or mutation on damage sensing neurones, using patch-clamp techniques. Mark has made contributions to understanding the roles played by distinct Na+ channel sub-types in generating neuropathic and inflammatory pain. He was appointed non-clinical lecturer in Neuroscience in 2005.



School of Medicine and Dentistry

Course lead iBSc Neuroscience degree course
Module lead for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, lecturer, mentor and lab-project supervisor
Lecturer on iBSc in Experimental Pathology
MBBS Brain and Behaviour year 1 lecturer and practical class demonstrator


Module lead on BSc Neuroscience degree course, lecturer and lab-project supervisor


Topics for PhD supervision

The effects of temperature on central axons (supported by the MS society) Student: Lavinia Austerschmidt


Research Interests:

Mark’s recent research interests have included studying amyloid-b (1-42) ion channels in real cell membranes in collaboration with John Viles (historically BBSRC/ QMUL Life-Sciences initiative PhD studentship and Wolfson bursary supported). Mark has investigated  the functional effects of temperature on optic nerve axons and the impact of electroneutral Na+ transport in normal and diseased central axons (MS society innovation award and subsequently with an MS society PhD studentship).


Key Publications

Bode DC, Stanyon HF, Hirani T, Baker MD, Nield J, Viles JH (2018). Serum Albumin's Protective Inhibition of Amyloid-β Fibre Formation Is Suppressed by Cholesterol, Fatty Acids and Warfarin. J Mol Biol 10.1016/j.jmb.2018.01.008

Baker MD, Kanagaratnam M, Pendleton C, Souza DA, Pettit J, Howells J (2017). Diuretic sensitive electroneutral Na+ movement and temperature effects on central axons. The Journal of Physiology 10.1113/JP273963

Bode DC, Baker MD, Viles JH (2016). Ion Channel Formation by Amyloid-β42 Oligomers but not Amyloid-β40 in Cellular Membranes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 10.1074/jbc.M116.762526

Coates TA, Woolnough O, Masters JM, Asadova G, Chandrakumar C, Baker MD (2015). Acute temperature sensitivity in optic nerve axons explained by an electrogenic membrane potential. Pflugers Arch vol. 467, (11) 2337-2349. 10.1007/s00424-015-1696-2 10.1007/s00424-015-1696-2

Bulmer D, Hockley J, Mcguire C, Cibert-Goton V, Tranter M, Knowles C, Baker M, Mcmurray S et al. (2015). Differential roles of voltage-gated sodium channels on visceral afferent excitability to mechanical and inflammatory mediators. Neurogastroenterology and Motility vol. 27, 110-110.

All Publications

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