We welcome Dr. Rick Baker assistant professor who is starting on December 9, 2019. Dr. Baker is an expert in the technique of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). His lab will be opeing in January 2020.

Rick Baker PhD coming soon 2020
Rick Baker PhD, Assistant Professor

Rick Baker is a biochemist and microscopist focused on how cells bend and shape their internal membranes, a process broadly called membrane trafficking. Dr. Baker is an expert in the technique of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), which allows the visualization of proteins in atomic detail. His group seeks to visualize proteins in the act of bending and shaping membranes, a process that underlies vital cellular functions like insulin secretion and neurotransmission. Dr. Baker received his Ph.D in 2015 from Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology. Under the mentorship of Professor Frederick Hughson, he used x-ray crystallography to show how a family of proteins catalyzes fusion of two membranes, an important process in neurotransmission. His post-doctoral training was performed at UC San Diego where he was a fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Working with Professor Andres Leschziner, he trained in the technique of cryo-electron microscopy, which is a powerful method to visualize large and complex protein assemblies. Dr. Baker was also an undergraduate at UNC and performed his senior thesis work in the department under the supervision of Professor Brian Kuhlman. He returns to his home department as an Assistant Professor and a full member of the Lineberger Cancer Center.

Baker Lab Research specialities include: structural biology, membrane trafficking, cancer biology, cryo-EM methods development. Baker lab’s research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of membrane trafficking. His lab uses the tools of cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to study how protein complexes assemble on membranes to bud and fuse vesicles. Specialties: cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, protein purification

Biochemistry & Biophysics Communications Media contact: Carolyn M. Clabo, 919-962-7642, carolyn_clabo@med.unc.edu