October 21, 2019
I am delighted to share wonderful news—just released this morning. Dr. Carol Baker, adjunct professor in the Department of Pediatrics, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
Dr. Baker, known as the “Godmother of group B Streptococcus prevention,” is one of 80 remarkable people elected to the academy this year in recognition of outstanding professional achievement.
Membership in NAM is based upon distinguished professional achievement in a field related to medicine and health, as well as demonstrated and continued involvement with issues of health care, prevention of disease, education, or research.
A highly accomplished infectious diseases clinician, educator, and vaccinologist, Dr. Baker has spent her career advocating on behalf of the health of mothers and babies. “I wanted to be a doctor since the age of 6, and I was determined to do something that helped children’s lives,” she said, adding that she was inspired to become a doctor by her mother – her parents met in college and were both pre-med.
She said she was “absolutely surprised and thrilled” at the incredible honor of being elected to NAM. “I hadn’t been that surprised since I was the only woman admitted to my class in medical school,” she said.
Dr. Baker earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1968, completed her internship at University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles; and completed her residency and fellowship at Baylor as well as a research fellowship at Harvard. Her advocacy for maternal immunization shaped a new medical culture in the United States, enabling doctors to save the lives of countless newborns.
“Election to the Academy affirms that this was worthwhile,” she said. “But this honor reflects the whole team – those who work in the lab, the clinical research – I didn’t do this alone.”
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Baker on this wonderful and well-deserved honor. Election to the NAM is one of the highest honors in medicine. She adds this distinction to many other awards – including the 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal, the Maurice Hilleman Award from the CDC; the Mentor, Society Citation and Alexander Fleming Lifetime Achievement awards from the IDSA; the Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; and the Schneerson-Robbins Award in Vaccinology.