Natasha Baker

  • Visiting Lab Instructor

Contact

Office: (412) 624-4254
L03 Clapp Hall
4249 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

I work with Jean Schmidt and Elia Crisucci to oversee the Foundations of Biology Laboratory courses (BIOSC 0050 and BIOSC 0060).  These inquiry-based courses are designed to give students the experience of working like a scientist and practice skills that they can use in their everyday lives, as well as in a diverse array of careers.  Our aim is to develop the growth of students into creative problem solvers, critical thinkers and collaborative team members.  My role is to guide student growth as a teacher, and also ensure the overall growth and success of our courses through course administration, instructor training and curriculum development.

I bring to the classroom a background in basic research and some experience in clinical science and industry, which I love to share with my students and draw upon in my teaching. 

After completing my BSc in Cell Biology in the UK, I worked in a hospital hematology lab before undertaking my PhD.  I completed my PhD in the lab of Dr. Jelena Gavrilovic at the University of East Anglia, UK, in collaboration with AstraZeneca.  My PhD focused on the role of a protein (called WISP3) in the process of osteoarthritis in the knee joint.  To build upon my PhD experience I joined Dr. Rocky Tuan’s lab at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.  In Dr. Tuan’s lab I investigated the biology of adult bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.  I joined Dr. Tuan in moving to the Department of Orthopedic Surgery here at the University of Pittsburgh to continue this research. 

Now that I have completed my postdoctoral studies, I am delighted to share my experience as a scientist with our undergraduates and encourage students to graduate from Pitt with an open curiosity about our world.      

Bevan, D., Baker, N.,

Bevan, D., Baker, N., Goldring, M.B., Donell, S.T. & Gavrilovic, J. (2016). Chondrocyte responses to neurovascular peptides, cytokines and a 3D environment: focus on ADAMs. Metalloproteinases in Medicine, 3, 63-74. 

Baker, N., Sohn, J., & Tuan, R.S. (2015). P

Baker, N., Sohn, J., & Tuan, R.S. (2015). Promotion of human mesenchymal stem cell osteogenesis by PI3-kinase/AKT signaling, and the influence of caveolin-1/cholesterol homeostasis. Stem Cell Res Ther., 6, 238. 

Baker, N., Boyette, L., & Tuan, R.S. (2015)

Baker, N., Boyette, L., & Tuan, R.S. (2015). Characterization of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in aging. Bone, 70, 37-47. 

Baker, N., & Tuan, R.S. (2013). The less-of

Baker, N., & Tuan, R.S. (2013). The less-often-traveled surface of stem cells: caveolin-1 and caveolae in stem cells, tissue repair and regeneration. Stem Cell Res Ther., 4 (4), 90. 

Baker, N., Zhang, G., You, Y., & Tuan, R.S.

Baker, N., Zhang, G., You, Y., & Tuan, R.S. (2012). Caveolin-1 regulates proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. J Cell Biochem., 113 (12), 3773-87. 

Baker, N., Sharpe, P., Culley, K., Otero, M., B

Baker, N., Sharpe, P., Culley, K., Otero, M., Bevan, D., Newham, P., Barker, W., Clements, K.M., Langham, C.J., Goldring, M.B., & Gavrilovic, J. (2012). Dual regulation of metalloproteinase expression in chondrocytes by WISP3/CCN6. Arthritis Rheum., 64 (7), 2289-99.
Dr. Baker received her Ph.D. with Jelena Gavrilovic at the University of East Anglia, UK, performed her postdoctoral studies with Rocky Tuan at the National Institutes of Health, and joined the Department in 2016.