HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 19, 2009) – Carol J. Baker, M.D., the executive director of Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Baker previously served as a member of the committee; her appointment is effective immediately and continues through June 2010.
Well known for her work in both immunization research and education, Dr. Baker serves as professor of pediatrics and of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine and is the Texas Children's Hospital Foundation Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
"I am honored to accept this important position at a time when continued education and research on immunization practices in our country is so imperative," said Dr. Baker. "Vaccines have significantly diminished the impact of numerous serious diseases, yet many children and adults are under-immunized and exposing themselves to unnecessary health risks. It is vital that the medical community continues research on vaccine delivery methods and education programs on vaccine safety – all working toward increasing immunization levels in the U.S."
Among her responsibilities as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Dr. Baker will lead the committee's annual three meetings and represent ACIP at federal advisory meetings including the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Board of Scientific Councilors to CDC.
Dr. Baker's work has focused on all aspects of pediatric infectious diseases, particularly all aspects of group B streptococcal infections including research to develop a vaccine. Her policy work in the early 1990s led to the U.S. recommendations for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis to prevent early-onset group B streptococcal disease in neonates. In 1997, Dr. Baker was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and in 2007 of the Distinguished Physician Award, each from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. In 2001 she served as President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. In 2008 she received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Baylor College of Medicine and in 2009 the John P. Utz Leadership Award from National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
A widely published researcher in pediatrics and infectious diseases, Dr. Baker has authored or co-authored more than 300 published studies, reviews and book chapters. She is also an associate editor of the 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 Red Book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and an editor of Infectious Diseases of the Fetus and Newborn Infant (6th edition).
Most recently, Dr. Baker co-authored the book Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story published this year.
Dr. Baker received her medical degree, completed her residency and held fellowships in the department of pediatrics, infectious disease section at Baylor College of Medicine. She was a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a clinical fellow in medicine at Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Baker received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.
About the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research
The Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital promotes healthier children and families by providing parents and health care professionals with the latest information and recommendations on vaccines for infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women and adults and by conducting research that contributes to effective vaccine delivery models. Information is available on its Web site, www.vaccine.texaschildrens.org. An ongoing program, the center is the creation of four Texas Children's Hospital physicians who are experts in the fields of vaccine education and research, pediatrics, infectious diseases and adolescent medicine.
About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children by providing the finest pediatric patient care, education and research. Renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, Texas Children's is ranked in the top ten best children's hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Texas Children's also operates the nation's largest primary pediatric care network, with over 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children's has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes a Neurological Research Institute, a comprehensive obstetrics facility focusing on high-risk births and a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children's Hospital, visit www.texaschildrens.org.