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The Baker Institute

Advancing veterinary medicine through research since 1950...

The Baker Institute for Animal Health is one of the oldest research centers dedicated to the study of veterinary infectious diseases, immunology, genetics, and reproduction.

What's New / Items of Interest

  • July 10, 2014 - Check back soon! The Baker Institute is developing a new website that will go online in late July, 2014. Please check back with us soon for a whole new layout, new content, and improved navigation. In the meantime, set your bookmarks to our new homepage:
  • July 1, 2014 - Dr. Charles Danko is the newest member of the Baker faculty. Dr. Danko's expertise is in the area of mammalian epigenetics, which studies factors that determine gene expression.
  • In October 2012, Former Institute Director, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. Currently a professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Aguirre is best known for his efforts to elucidate the genes and mechanisms behind inherited blindness. By modeling the visual disorders in dogs, he and his colleagues have found a cure for retinal degeneration in animals - laying the groundwork for human clinical trials.
  • Drs. Xuesen Zhang and Scott Coonrod recently published a manuscript in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which
    showed that the enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PADI2), functions as an estrogen receptor co-factor. In this article they show that
    PADI2 binds to the estrogen receptor (ER) and activates ER target gene expression by modifying histones at the target promoters. This
    work sheds light on how estrogen promotes cell growth and may also lead to the development of new breast cancer therapies.
  • On July 6, 2012, Dr. Doug McGregor, Professor Emeritus and former Director of Baker Institute, was named an Honorary Associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • Dr. Alex Travis was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.
  •  October 26, 2011: Dr. Alex Travis, Baker faculty member and Director of Cornell's campus-wide Center for Wildlife Conservation joins Dr. Pierre Comizzoli of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to announce a new Joint Graduate Training Program between the Smithsonian and Cornell. The event takes place at 6:30pm in the National Zoo Visitor Center Auditorium, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC.
  • August 23, 2011: Dr. Alex Travis co-edited a ten-article special feature in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. The series explored the mechanisms defining interlinkages between the rapid loss of biodiversity and poverty worldwide.
  • August 9, 2011: The Salty Paw in Lower Manhattan held a Puppy Prom benefit for the Baker Insitute in honor of Salty Paw's dearly departed Great Dane, Tyras Zink. Prom King this year was awarded to Bandit, while the queen was a Bernese Mountain Dog named Holly. For more pictures see puppy prom.
  • December 1, 2010: Dr. Colin Parrish appointed as new Director of the Baker Institute and Feline Health Center, Cornell Chronicle 12/3/10.
  • November 2010: The NOVA program Dogs Decoded aired on PBS on November 9. Dr. Anna Kukekova, Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Greg Acland, was one of the featured speakers. Her work on the fox behavior project is described in Chapters 5 and 6. See above link to view this program.
  • July 2010: The Veterinary Immunology Committee of the International Union of Immunological Societies has announced that Doug Antczak will receive the Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health The award, and the invited lecture, will be presented on August 20, 2010 at the 9th International Veterinary Immunology Symposium in Tokyo, Japan.
  • May 2010: Published research on Lavender Foal Syndrome. See Public Information News listing for details and citation link.
  • May 2010:  Dr. Rui Kan, Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Scott Coonrod, has won a First Place Category award in the 7th annual Microscopy Image Contest sponsored by the Cornell Center for Materials Research. View Image link.
  • December 2009: New link to the Breeding Value Hip Dysplasia website created by Dr. Rory Todhunter, Professor of Surgery, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, is now available. You will need to be a registered user to use this application. Questions can be directed to Dr. Todhunter at For more information about hip dysplasia studies at the Baker Institute, see the faculty pages of Dr. George Lust.
  • November 2009: Science magazine publishes the article "Genome Sequence, Comparative Analysis, and Population Genetics of the Domestic Horse," co-authored by Dr. Doug Antczak. An article in the Cornell Chronicle describes Dr. Antczak and Twilight the horse, who was the DNA donor for the genome sequencing project. An earlier NIH news release from 2/7/07 on the horse genome project and Twilight remains available on the web.
  • September 2009:  Dr. Alex Travis wins prestigious NIH Pioneer Award. See Cornell Chronicle article 9/24/09.
  • May 2009: New York Times article on evolving viruses such as the new swine flu; includes interview with Dr. Colin Parrish, Professor of Virology at the Baker Institute.
  • Alice H. and Constance E. Cook Award, April 2009, to Dr. Judy Appleton, in recognition of her work on gender equity issues at Cornell.
  • Newly established professorship at the Baker Institute, The Judy Wilpon Professor of Cancer Biology, funded through the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation. See When Stars Align for more information.
  • Baker Institute Advisory Council member, Dr. Frederick Murphy, 2009 recipient of Penn Vet World Award. Link to news announcement.
  •  Institute Events
  • Fall 2011 Seminar Series (see Events page for earlier seminar series)
  • Annual Reports:
  • Baker Institute Annual Report 2009 - 2010 (pdf)
  • Baker Institute Annual Report 2008 (pdf)
  • Institute Annual Report wins CASE Accolade Silver Award
  • Canine Influenza Information
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia Brochure
  • Equine Genome Project (Zweig Newsletter 6/07)

    Helpful Links

  • Cornell Hospital for Animals. If you need to make an appointment to have your pet examined or treated, please contact the veterinary hospital on the main campus.
  • Feline Health Center. Specializes in the health and well-being of cats and offers a hotline for questions about feline health.
  • Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library. Provides links to free animal health web sites, and publication resources, as well as a VetAccess service (fee-based) to find specific information about animal health issues.
  • Veterinary degree programs. Provides links to information about admissions to veterinary programs at Cornell, including DVM, Dual-Degree (DVM, PhD), Graduate studies, internships.