About the Baker Institute for Animal Health
Baker Institute for Animal Health carries out cutting-edge research in animal health to improve the lives of both humans and animals alike. Founded in 1950 on a leafy 30-acre campus in Ithaca, New York, the Institute is proud to continue building on more than a half century history of discoveries and innovation in vaccines and infectious disease, reproductive biology, cancer research, and basic biology. Today, Baker’s faculty and research staff continue to study the pathogens and genetic disorders of dogs, cats, horses, and other animals and the underlying causes of cancer in animals and in humans, often leading the science in new and innovative directions.
Current Work and Successes
Baker Institute serves society through discoveries that have an impact in the immediate future and in the long-term, supporting a broad spectrum of investigations linked by the common theme of animal health. There are many ongoing projects at the Institute, including:
- Studying the acute canine herpesvirus type 1, an often deadly pathogen of dogs, to better understand how the virus causes disease in animals and how related herpesviruses affect humans. The results of this work could point the way to new therapies and ways of preventing infection with this common virus.
- Engineering a way to harness the power of molecular motors that drive sperm, tethering these powerful enzymes to devices that may be used in areas as diverse as nanotechnology, medical and veterinary diagnostics, and conservation.
- Investigating the causes behind a disorder of sexual development in which genetic female dogs are born with male reproductive features, Baker scientists are analyzing the genomes of four different dogs with and without the condition, offering hope for improving the practice of dog breeding and enhancing our understanding of the disorder in humans.
These and many other research programs at the Institute carefully lay the scientific building blocks that will be the foundation for new discoveries about the nature of disease and how to control its spread. Read more about our scientists and their work on our researcher profile pages.
Baker and Cornell University
Baker Institute is committed to cooperation and collaboration with other researchers here at Cornell University and at institutions around the world, a dedication that is central to the success of the Institute. As a part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, the Institute enjoys a partnership that builds on the strengths of both institutions and fosters an environment of creative cooperation. Since the Institute’s founding, Baker’s faculty have participated in active and fruitful collaborations with faculty from other units in the College of Veterinary Medicine and with other Cornell University scientists.
In addition to our ties with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Baker faculty are also active within other institutions at Cornell, including:
- Cornell Feline Health Center (a unit of the College of Veterinary Medicine),
- Cornell Center for Wildlife Conservation (CCWC),
- Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and
- Center for Vertebrate Genomics.
Training and education of veterinary scientists are an essential part of the Baker Institute’s mission, and faculty at Baker are involved in fostering the next generation of scientists at all levels. Veterinary graduate students (Ph.D. and Master’s students) and postdoctoral fellows are the main focus of the Institute’s research training, but our labs also host veterinarians undertaking a Ph.D., dual degree DVM-Ph.D. students, summer veterinary students in research programs (Leadership Program, Veterinary Investigator Program, and the Havemeyer program), undergraduate students, and even high school students. Read more about opportunities for trainees on our Opportunities page.
Students in Cornell's Veterinary Student Leadership Program and in the Havemeyer student positions spend ten weeks in the summer conducting research and participating in a variety of activities to introduce them to research and academic veterinary medicine. Those programs are coordinated by Dr. John Parker and Dr. Doug Antczak, respectively. Read more about these programs on our Opportunities page.