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Kate Baker
Programme Leader
01223 767744

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
ABINAYAH, J., NG-CORDELL, E., HANNA, N., BRKIC, D., BAKER, K. (In Press) The Neurodevelopmental Spectrum of Synaptic Vesicle Cycling Disorders, Journal of Neuroschemistry [Open Access]

BAKER, K. , Devine, R., NG-CORDELL, E., Raymond, L., IMAGINE-DI Consortium, Hughes, C. (In Press) Childhood intellectual disability and parents’ mental health: Integrating social, psychological, and genetic influence, British Journal of Psychiatry [Open Access]

BAKER, K. , BRKIC, D, Ng-Cordell, E., O’BRIEN, S., Scerif, G., ASTLE, D. (2020) Gene functional networks and autism spectrum characteristics in young people with intellectual disability: a dimensional phenotyping study, Molecular Autism, 11(1), 98 [Open Access]

NORD, C.L., DALMAIJER, E., Armstrong, T., BAKER, K. , DALGLEISH, T. (2020) A causal role for gastric rhythm in human disgust avoidance, Current Biology, 31(3), 629-634.e3 [Open Access]

BRKIC, D., Hawkins, E., AKARCA, D., ZHANG, M., Woolrich, M., BAKER, K. , ASTLE, D. (2019) Functional network dynamics in a neurodevelopmental disorder of known genetic origin, Human Brain Mapping, 41(2):530-544 [Open Access]

BAKER, K. , Gordon, S.L., Melland, H., Bumbak, F., Scott, D.J., Jiang, T.J., Owen, D., Turner, B.J., Boyd, S.G., Rossi, M., Al-Raqad, M., Elpeleg, O., Peck, D., Mancini, G.M.S., Wilke, M., Zollino, M., Marangi, G., Weigand, H., Borggraefe, I., Haack, T., Stark, Z., Sadedin, S., Broad Center for Mendelian Genomics, Tan, T.Y., Jiang, Y. Gibbs, R.A., Ellingwood, S., Amaral, M., Kelley, W., Kurian, M.A., Cousin, M.A., Raymond, F.L. (2018) SYT1-associated neurodevelopmental disorder: a case series., Brain, 141, 2576–2591 | [Open Access]

BATHELT, J., Barnes, J., Raymond, L.F., Baker, K. , ASTLE, D. (2017) Global and local connectivity differences converge with gene expression in a neurodevelopmental disorder of known genetic origin, Cerebral Cortex, 27(7):3806-3817 [Open Access]

BATHELT, J., ASTLE, D., BARNES, J., Raymond, L.F., & Baker, K. (2016) Structural brain abnormalities in a single gene disorder associated with epilepsy, language impairment and intellectual disability, Neuroimage: Clinical, 12: 655-665 [Open Access]

ASTLE, D., Barnes, J.,m Nobre, K., Woolrich, M., Baker, K. (2016) Training working memory in childhood enhances coupling between fronto-parietal control network and task-related regions, Journal of Neuroscience, 36(34):9001-9011 [Open Access]

ASTLE, D.E., Barnes, J.J.M., Woolrich, M.W.., Baker, K. , Colclough, G.L. (2016) Electrophysiological measures of resting state functional connectivity and their relationship with working memory capacity in childhood, Developmental Science, 19(1), 19-31 [Open Access]

Baker, K. , Scerif, G., Astle, D.E., Fletcher, P.C., Raymond, F.L. (2015) Psychopathology and cognitive performance in individuals with membrane-associated guanylate kinase mutations: a functional network phenotyping study., Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 7(1), 8 [Open Access]

Baker, K. , ASTLE, D.E., Scerif, G., Barnes, J., Smith, J., Moffat, G., Gillard, J, Baldeweg, T., and Raymond, F.L (2015) Epilepsy, cognitive deficits and neuroanatomy in males with ZDHHC9 mutations., Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 2(5), 559-569 [Open Access]

ASTLE, D., Barnes, J.J., Baker, K. , Colclough, G.L., Woolrich, M.W. (2015) Cognitive training enhances intrinsic brain connectivity in childhood, Journal of Neuroscience, 35(16), 6277-6283 [Open Access]