Christopher Baker, Ph.D., has been promoted to The Jackson Laboratory faculty as an assistant professor. Baker explores the genetic and molecular regulatory system controlling the location and rate of meiotic recombination, the process that generates new genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms.
Genetic recombination is critical to the successful completion of meiosis, and aberrant recombination can impact human fertility and health. However, little is known about the molecular components of the system controlling where recombination occurs. Baker uses genetic, genomic and molecular biology strategies to identify genes regulating the rate at which meiotic hotspots — the physical sites of DNA recombination — are activated.
Baker earned his B.S. in plant and soil science from the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. in genetics at Dartmouth Medical School. Following a postdoctoral fellowship n the laboratory of JAX Professor Ken Paigen, Ph.D., he was promoted to associate research scientist in 2015 and assistant professor in 2016. His earlier work at JAX focused on a network of cis- and tran-acting regulatory factors that may impact diverse biological processes, from inheritance to individual susceptibility to disease.