Dr. Baker’s research and team has focused on quantifying and characterizing exposure-response outcomes and relationships with regards to soft-tissue (including but not limited to muscle, vasculature, nerve, etc.) non-injurious and injurious physical loading as well as prevention/ intervention-based adaptive approaches (i.e. “resistancetype” exercise). Importantly, the affects aging contributes to and interacts with these factors is an overarching research focal area within the lab. Further, our fundamental in vivo models approach is both multi-disciplinary and integrative, in that we use a systems approach to investigate function at both the biomechanical (performance of the system) and physiological (molecular to morphological) levels to identify and analyze etiology. The resulting contributions from these works have significantly broadened the scientific understanding of soft-tissue adaptability with aging, exercise, and injury. The team’s ultimate objective is to translate these evidencebased findings into practice, so to improve the overall quality of life and “healthspan” for all aging populations by identifying how to limit age-related diseases, disorders, and injury.
With respect to CMT, Dr. Baker’s team has collaborated with Drs. Michael Sereda and Klaus Nave of the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine (MPI) to utilize their CMT1A transgenic rat and established the initial CMT1A rat colony in the United States. Specifically, the lab is continuing to examine the effects of an initial investigation that implemented validated, “resistance-type” exercise with these CMT1A rats by training them on a specialized machine, called a dynamometer (i.e. similar to therapeutic/ laboratory isokinetic equipment – Cybex, Kincom, etc.). Initial funding for this project was supported by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF, New York, NY).