Tania Baker, the E. C. Whitehead Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, will receive the Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association.
Baker, who will be honored with a dinner held on the Stanford campus in October, will be given the award for the significant advances she has made in medical science and education. The award was established in 2010 to acknowledge the achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni. Many of its winners have gone on to win other prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize.
Baker studies AAA+ unfoldases, a large family of enzymes present in all organisms that removes or recycles proteins damaged by the stresses of cellular life, which would become toxic to the cell if allowed to accumulate. Baker is uncovering how unfoldases recognize and manipulate protein components and how the cell regulates unfoldase activity. She is a coauthor of numerous editions of the most widely-used book on molecular biology, "Molecular Biology of the Gene," as well as the classic text, "DNA Replication" (2nd edition) with Arthur Kornberg.
Baker’s work has already earned her numerous honors, including election as a member of the National Academy of Sciences; as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Baker’s commitment to teaching has been well-recognized at MIT, where she has been awarded a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellowship and a School of Science Teaching Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.