Tania Baker

Tania A. Baker (PhD '88)

The Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association (SUMCAA) has announced that Tania A. Baker, PhD '88, will receive the prestigious Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences. She will be honored at a dinner held on the Stanford campus on October 18.

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. 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.  

The Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences honors the legacy of Arthur Kornberg, MD, and Paul Berg, PhD, medical science pioneers and Nobel laureates who brought to Stanford a passion for discovery and groundbreaking research. Established in 2010, this award acknowledges and celebrates the lifetime career achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni in the biomedical sciences. Several previous winners have gone on to win other prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize.