I am an expert in cell biology and infectious disease, having spent more than 20 years working on the parasite that causes malaria. I have pioneered fundamental discovery research through to applied research on the malaria parasite, with major career contributions to drug discovery, diagnostics and vaccines.
My core areas of expertise include:
- The rational design and testing of malaria vaccines
- Imaging-based high throughput drug discovery screens
- Development of point-of-care infection diagnostics
- Interdisciplinary research at the interface between fields including cell biology with physics, chemistry, structural biology or mathematics (including machine learning)
- Industry-academic partnerships
- Evolutionary biology and host-pathogen coevolution
Fields of Research (FoR)Biochemistry and cell biology, Infectious diseases, Medical parasitology, Cellular immunology, Medical biotechnology diagnostics (incl. biosensors), Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
I am a parasitologist, cell biologist and medical science innovator. Following Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees at Oxford, and PhD in London (LSHTM, 2002) I moved to the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia to work on the molecular and cellular biology of the malaria parasite. I started my own independent lab at the WEHI in 2010 (www.baumlab.com). In 2013, I returned to the UK to Imperial College London, and was later...view more
I am a parasitologist, cell biologist and medical science innovator. Following Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees at Oxford, and PhD in London (LSHTM, 2002) I moved to the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia to work on the molecular and cellular biology of the malaria parasite. I started my own independent lab at the WEHI in 2010 (www.baumlab.com). In 2013, I returned to the UK to Imperial College London, and was later appointed Professor of Cell Biology and Infectious Diseases (2017). In 2020 I helped found the Imperial College Institute of Infection, a new Institute charged with representing the entire interdisciplinary research portfolio of infection research across the University. In 2022, I was recruited back to Australia to take up a tenured Professorship and position as Head of School of Medical Sciences at UNSW, Sydney. My lab (www.baumlab.com) has had a diverse range of interests, across cell biology, drug discovery, novel diagnostics, and vaccine technologies, often working together with industry partnerships. I have mentored to completion 13 PhD students, 20+ postdocs and supported >100 researchers through my lab. 5 former lab members are now independent PIs, 1 is a Journal Editor and 2 have started their own spin-out companies. Throughout my career I’ve been passionate about supporting early career researchers advance their careers in science.
Career highlights include:
- >100 publications & 3 awarded patents (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Jake+Baum&sort=date)
- Co-discovery of PfRH5, the current lead-of-field blood-stage malaria vaccine
- Awards of a Victorian Tall Poppy Award; the ASBMB Merck Millipore Medal, and the Walter + Eliza Hall Burnet Prize
- Election to Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, UK.
- Inaugural co-Director of the Imperial College London Institute of Infection (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/institute-of-infection/)
Current funding for the Baum lab comes from:
- The Wellcome Trust (UK)
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (US)
- NIH (US)
- The RoseTrees Trust (UK)
- Ph.D. in Infectious & Tropical Diseases. Co-evolution of Genetic Diversity in Malaria and Humans. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (University of London), UK (1999-2002; awarded 31-08-2002).
- M.Sc. Human Biology. University of Oxford, Magdalen College, UK (1997-1998).
- B.A. Hons (M.A. Oxon). Biological Sciences. University of Oxford, St. Catherine’s College, UK (1993-1996).
- 2020 Imperial College London President's Awards for Excellence in Societal Engagement.
- 2017, 2018 and 2019 Nomination Best Teaching Award. 2018 Nominated and Short-listed for Best Feedback Award by Imperial College Union Student Academic Choice Awards.
- 2013 Merck Millipore Research Medal from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
- 2011 Walter + Eliza Hall Institute Burnet Prize.
- 2009 Victorian/Tasmania Young Tall Poppy Science Award Winner.
- 2007 ARC/NHMRC Australian Parasitological Society Early Career Researcher award
My Research Activities
- Development of novel, multi-epitope malaria vaccines
- Dissection-independent isolation of malaria parasite sporozoites
- Cell free protein translation by in vitro translation (IVT) using Plasmodium cell lysate
- Digital point-of-care diagnostics for malaria and other infectious diseases
- High throughput drug screening for antimalarials
- Cell biology - with a core focus on malaria parasite cell motility and general cell biology