David Baker

David Baker

Title: Professor
Professor of Neuroimmonology

Prof David Baker and his colleagues undertake research on basic science aspects of multiple sclerosis and this links to the clinical science aspects of multiple sclerosis run by Prof Gain Giovannoni. His research has strong emphasis on developing methods for disease control.



Prof Baker received his B.Sc. in Zoology from Bedford College, University of London in 1983. He trained in immunology at The Hunterian Institute, University of London and received his Ph.D. in 1987 for studies on control of immune responses in delayed hypersensitivities of the skin. Through support of post-doctoral fellowships he began studying delayed hypersentitivities of the central nervous system, particularly as they relate to control of multiple sclerosis. He developed a novel relapsing-remitting model of multiple sclerosis in the late 1980s and since that time he has been working on experimental therapies for this condition. He moved from the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London to its sister Institute at Neurology, UCL in 1999 and was awarded the title of Professor in 2004. He was involved in the basic:clinical interface for the development of novel treatments for multiple sclerosis and targeting autoimmunity, neuroprotection and symptom control. He moved to the Blizard Instiute at the end of 2006 and developed a novel model of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and has been focusing recent research on neuroprotection and more recently repair of CNS disorders

During the early 2000, he began pioneering work on the symptomatic control of spasticity with cannabinoids, which underpinned the perception that cannabis could be used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. A number of his ideas, such as autoimmune tolerance, use of certain cytostatic agents and cannabinoids have been translated into the clinic. He has filed a number of patents and is a founder of a University Spin-Out Company that is developing a compound towards Phase I studies in humans.

He links with Prof Giovannoni in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Prof Baker is an internationally recognised neuroimmunologist and has identified novel treatment strategies for experimental neuroimmunological conditions. 


Multiple sclerosis research; Experimental models of multiple sclerosis; Immunosuppression; Neuroprotection; Repair; Symptom Control; Cannabinoids

Recent and ongoing research projects

  • CNS-excluded cannabinoids in symptom control
  • Modulators of the endocannabinoid system in symptom control
  • CNS Drug Pumps in the therapy of multiple sclerosis
  • Optic neuritis as a 3Rs model for multiple sclerosis
  • Models of CNS autoimmunity
  • GPR55 as a novel cannabinoid target
  • Stem cells and engineered stem cells in the control of multiple sclerosis.
  • Autoimmune tolerance in neuroimmunological disease


Baker D, Pryce G, Croxford JL, Brown P, Huffman, JW Pertwee RG and Layward L. (2000) Cannabinoids control spasticity and tremor in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Nature 404:84-87.

Pryce G, O’Neill JKA, Croxford JL, Amor S, Hankey DRJ, Giovannoni G and Baker D (2005). Immunological tolerance that eliminates relapses, fails to halt secondary progression in a chronic multiple sclerosis model. J.Neuroimmunol. 165:41-52.

Maresz K, Pryce G, Ponomarev ED, Marsicano G, Croxford JL, Shriver LP, Ledent C, Cheng X, Carrier E, Mann MK, Giovannoni G, Pertwee RG, Yamamura T, Buckley NE, Hillard CJ, Lutz B, Baker D, Dittel BN (2007). Direct suppression of CNS autoimmune inflammation via the cannabinoid receptor CB1 on neurons and CB2 on autoreactive T Cells. Nat Medicine 13:492-497.

Baker D, Gerritsen W, Rundel J, Amor S. (2011) Critical appraisal of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Mult scler. [Epub 3 Mar].

Al-Izki, Pryce G, Jackson SJ, Giovannoni G, Baker D. Immunosuppression with FTY720 is insufficient to prevent secondary progressive neurodegeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Mullt Scler. [Epub. 1 Apr].

Professor David Baker Publications at Queen Mary, University of London

View all David Baker's Research Publications at: http://www.researchpublications.qmul.ac.uk



MBBS, Lecturer
BSc Neuroscience (Intercalated), Lecturer and lab project superviso


MSc Neuroscience and Translational Medicine, Lecturer and lab project superviso

Topics for PhD supervision

Neuroimmunology; Cannabinoids

Professional Development

MS Preceptoship

Lab Experience Placements

Further information

Member of the International Neuroimmunology Society
Member of British Society of Immunology
Member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society
Organiser of “Meet the Scientists” Multiple Sclerosis for Lay People
Multiple Sclerosis Society Grant Review Panel
Founder of Canbex (University Spin-Out Company)
Reviewer for Many Journals and Grant Awarding Bodies


Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Blizard Building
4 Newark Street
E1 2AT

020 7882 2485
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