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Kate Baker
Programme Leader, Executive Processes Group
01223 355 294

Kate's research aims to fill the gap between genetic diagnosis and day-to-day problems for individuals with intellectual disability and their families.  Kate applies cognitive neuroscience methods to characterise developmental disorders of known genetic origin, understand mechanisms, and work toward effective treatments.  She wants to understand how subtle genetic differences influence neuronal function and neural systems to drastically constrain the emergence of cognitive abilities such as communication and social interaction.

Projects active:

  • Brain and Behaviour in Intellectual Disability of Genetic Origin (BINGO)
  • Farm-App: a new tool to assess cognitive processes in low ability individuals
  • Presynaptic vesicle cycling genes, in particular STXBP1 and SYT1
  • Parental well-being and intellectual disability of known genetic origin


Projects completed:

  • 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and other chromosomal copy number variants
  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and other ciliopathy syndromes
  • X-linked Intellectual Disability (XLID)
  • ZDHHC9-associated XLID


Key papers:



  • Clinical geneticists, neurologists, psychiatrists and other clinicians
  • Research cohorts and consortia: Deciphering Developmental Disorders @ Sanger Wellcome Trust Institute, IMAGINE-ID
  • Developmental cognitive neuroscientists: Duncan Astle @MRC CBU, Gaia Scerif @University of Oxford
  • Synaptic physiologists: Mike Cousin@University of Edinburgh, Sarah Gordon @ Florey Institute
  • Family psychologists: Claire Hughes @ University of Cambridge



  • Current: UK Medical Research Council, Baily Thomas Charitable Foundation
  • Previous: Academy of Medical Sciences / Wellcome Trust, UK National Institute for Health Research, Newlife - the Charity for Disabled Children



  • 1997-2000:  BA(Hons) preclinical medicine at Univerity of Oxford
  • 2000-2005: MBPhD at University College London
  • 2005-2007:  Postgraduate clinical training (Academic Foundation Programme, UCLH)
  • 2007-2010:  Paediatric clinical training (Academic Clinical Fellowship, UCL Institute of Child Health)
  • 2010: MRCPCH
  • 2010-2017:  Clinical genetics training (Academic Clinical Lectureship, University of Cambridge)
  • 2015: daughter born
  • 2017: son born
  • 2018-: Programme Leader track scientist (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge) and Honorary Consultant Clinical Geneticist (Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge)
CBSU publications