Professor Clare Baker

University position


Professor Clare Baker is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


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Research Theme

Developmental Neuroscience


We are investigating a broad range of questions relating to the development of neurogenic placodes and the neural crest, two embryonic cell populations in vertebrates that together build the entire peripheral nervous system. Current projects include the development of olfactory ensheathing glia from the neural crest, and the development and evolution of electroreceptors from lateral line placodes.

All publications on PubMed:

Google Scholar profile:

Research Focus




neurogenic placodes

neural crest


Clinical conditions

Birth defects



In situ hybridisation





Andrew Gillis


Igor Adameyko Web:

Marianne Bronner Web:

Raj Ladher Web:

Michael Wegner Web:

Harold Zakon Web:

Associated News Items



Baker CVH, Modrell MS (2018), “Insights into electroreceptor development and evolution from molecular comparisons with hair cells.” Integr Comp Biol 58: 329340

Hockman D, Adameyko I, Kaucka M, Barraud P, Otani T, Hunt A, Hartwig AC, Sock E, Waithe D, Franck MCM, Ernfors P, Ehinger S, Howard MJ, Brown N, Reese J, Baker CVH (2018), “Striking parallels between carotid body glomus cell and adrenal chromaffin cell development. ” Dev Biol in press:

Miller SR, Benito C, Mirsky R, Jessen KR, Baker CVH (2018), “Neural crest Notch/Rbpj signaling regulates olfactory gliogenesis and neuronal migration.” genesis 56: e23215

Rich CA, Perera SN, Andratschke J, Stolt CC, Buehler DP, Southard-Smith EM, Wegner M, Britsch S, Baker CVH (2018), “Olfactory ensheathing cells abutting the embryonic olfactory bulb express Frzb, whose deletion disrupts olfactory axon targeting.” Glia in press:


Hockman D, Burns AJ, Schlosser G, Gates KP, Jevans B, Mongera A, Fisher S, Unlu G, Knapik EW, Kaufman CK, Mosimann C, Zon LI, Lancman JJ, Dong PDS, Lickert H, Tucker AS, Baker CVH (2017), “Evolution of the hypoxia-sensitive cells involved in amniote respiratory reflexes.” eLife 6: e21231

Miller SR, Perera SN, Baker CVH (2017), “Constitutively active Notch1 converts cranial neural crest-derived frontonasal mesenchyme to perivascular cells in vivo.” Biol Open 6: 317325

Modrell MS, Lyne M, Carr AR, Zakon HH, Buckley D, Campbell AS, Davis MC, Micklem G, Baker CVH (2017), “Insights into electrosensory organ development, physiology and evolution from a lateral line-enriched transcriptome.” eLife 6: e24197

Modrell MS, Tidswell ORA, Baker CVH (2017), “Notch and Fgf signaling during electrosensory versus mechanosensory lateral line organ development in a non-teleost ray-finned fish.” Dev Biol 431: 4858


Arendt D, Musser JM, Baker CVH, Bergman A, Cepko C, Erwin DH, Pavlicev M, Schlosser G, Widder S, Laubichler MD, Wagner GP (2016), “The origin and evolution of cell types.” Nat Rev Genet 17: 744757

Miller SR, Perera SN, Benito C, Stott SRW, Baker CVH (2016), “Evidence for a Notch1-mediated transition during olfactory ensheathing cell development.” J Anat 229: 369383


Modrell MS, Hockman D, Uy B, Buckley D, Sauka-Spengler T, Bronner ME, Baker CV (2014), “A fate-map for cranial sensory ganglia in the sea lamprey.” Dev Biol 385(2):405-16 Details

Piotrowski T, Baker CV (2014), “The development of lateral line placodes: taking a broader view.” Dev Biol 389(1):68-81 Details


Baker CV, Modrell MS, Gillis JA (2013), “The evolution and development of vertebrate lateral line electroreceptors.” J Exp Biol 216(Pt 13):2515-22 Details

Barraud P, St John JA, Stolt CC, Wegner M, Baker CV (2013), “Olfactory ensheathing glia are required for embryonic olfactory axon targeting and the migration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons.” Biol Open 2(7):750-9 Details

Gillis JA, Modrell MS, Baker CV (2013), “Developmental evidence for serial homology of the vertebrate jaw and gill arch skeleton.” Nat Commun 4:1436 Details


Gillis JA, Modrell MS, Northcutt RG, Catania KC, Luer CA, Baker CV (2012), “Electrosensory ampullary organs are derived from lateral line placodes in cartilaginous fishes.” Development 139(17):3142-6 Details

Modrell MS, Baker CV (2012), “Evolution of electrosensory ampullary organs: conservation of Eya4 expression during lateral line development in jawed vertebrates.” Evol Dev 14(3):277-85 Details

O'Neill P, Mak SS, Fritzsch B, Ladher RK, Baker CV (2012), “The amniote paratympanic organ develops from a previously undiscovered sensory placode.” Nat Commun 3:1041 Details

Sabado V, Barraud P, Baker CV, Streit A (2012), “Specification of GnRH-1 neurons by antagonistic FGF and retinoic acid signaling.” Dev Biol 362(2):254-62 Details


Gillis JA, Rawlinson KA, Bell J, Lyon WS, Baker CV, Shubin NH (2011), “Holocephalan embryos provide evidence for gill arch appendage reduction and opercular evolution in cartilaginous fishes.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(4):1507-12 Details

Modrell MS, Bemis WE, Northcutt RG, Davis MC, Baker CV (2011), “Electrosensory ampullary organs are derived from lateral line placodes in bony fishes.” Nat Commun 2:496 Details

Modrell MS, Buckley D, Baker CV (2011), “Molecular analysis of neurogenic placode development in a basal ray-finned fish.” Genesis 49(4):278-94 Details


Barraud P, Seferiadis AA, Tyson LD, Zwart MF, Szabo-Rogers HL, Ruhrberg C, Liu KJ, Baker CV (2010), “Neural crest origin of olfactory ensheathing glia.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(49):21040-5 Details


Baker CV (2008), “The evolution and elaboration of vertebrate neural crest cells.” Curr Opin Genet Dev 18(6):536-43 Details

Baker CV, O'Neill P, McCole RB (2008), “Lateral line, otic and epibranchial placodes: developmental and evolutionary links?” J Exp Zoolog B Mol Dev Evol 310(4):370-83 Details

Dude CM, Kuan CY, Bradshaw JR, Greene ND, Relaix F, Stark MR, Baker CV (2008), “Activation of Pax3 target genes is necessary but not sufficient for neurogenesis in the ophthalmic trigeminal placode.” Dev Biol Details

Xu H, Dude CM, Baker CV (2008), “Fine-grained fate maps for the ophthalmic and maxillomandibular trigeminal placodes in the chick embryo.” Dev Biol 317(1):174-86 Details


Lassiter RN, Dude CM, Reynolds SB, Winters NI, Baker CV, Stark MR (2007), “Canonical Wnt signaling is required for ophthalmic trigeminal placode cell fate determination and maintenance.” Dev Biol 308(2):392-406 Details

O'Neill P, McCole RB, Baker CV (2007), “A molecular analysis of neurogenic placode and cranial sensory ganglion development in the shark, Scyliorhinus canicula.” Dev Biol 304(1):156-81 Details


Lee VM, Bronner-Fraser M, Baker CV (2005), “Restricted response of mesencephalic neural crest to sympathetic differentiation signals in the trunk.” Dev Biol 278(1):175-92 Details


von Bartheld CS, Baker CV (2004), “Nervus terminalis derived from the neural crest? A surprising new turn in a century-old debate.” Anat Rec B New Anat 278(1):12-3 Details


Baker CV, Stark MR, Bronner-Fraser M (2002), “Pax3-expressing trigeminal placode cells can localize to trunk neural crest sites but are committed to a cutaneous sensory neuron fate.” Dev Biol 249(2):219-36 Details

Kious BM, Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M, Knecht AK (2002), “Identification and characterization of a calcium channel gamma subunit expressed in differentiating neurons and myoblasts.” Dev Biol 243(2):249-59 Details


Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M (2001), “Vertebrate cranial placodes I. Embryonic induction.” Dev Biol 232(1):1-61 Details


Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M (2000), “Establishing neuronal identity in vertebrate neurogenic placodes.” Development 127(14):3045-56 Details


Baker CV, Stark MR, Marcelle C, Bronner-Fraser M (1999), “Competence, specification and induction of Pax-3 in the trigeminal placode.” Development 126(1):147-56 Details


Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M (1997), “The origins of the neural crest. Part II: an evolutionary perspective.” Mech Dev 69(1-2):13-29 Details

Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M (1997), “The origins of the neural crest. Part I: embryonic induction.” Mech Dev 69(1-2):3-11 Details

Baker CV, Bronner-Fraser M, Le Douarin NM, Teillet MA (1997), “Early- and late-migrating cranial neural crest cell populations have equivalent developmental potential in vivo.” Development 124(16):3077-87 Details


Baker CV, Sharpe CR, Torpey NP, Heasman J, Wylie CC (1995), “A Xenopus c-kit-related receptor tyrosine kinase expressed in migrating stem cells of the lateral line system.” Mech Dev 50(2-3):217-28 Details