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Professor Michael Baker, Department of Public Health

MBChB, FNZCPHM, FRACMA, DComH, DObst

Michael Baker image 2020

Professor of Public Health; Co-Director, He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme; Director, Health Environment Infection Research Unit (HEIRU); Co-Director, Public Health Summer School

Teaches PUBH734 Health Protection

Contact details

Tel +64 4 918 6802
Fax +64 4 389 5319
Email michael.baker@otago.ac.nz

Research interests and activities 

Michael has a wide range of public health research interests, with a particular focus on infectious diseases, environmental health, and housing. He has published widely on these topics.

In 2013 Michael was awarded the Liley Medal (Health Research Council) for his contribution to the health and medical sciences. In 2014 he was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize as a member of He Kainga Oranga / Housing and Health Research Programme. In 2015 he was the NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London.

In 2020 he received the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities New Zealand), and the Public Health Champion Award (Public Health Association) for his contributions to public health in New Zealand, notably his work on the COVID-19 response.

His research areas include:

  • infectious disease epidemiology
  • emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and pandemic influenza
  • food safety and enteric diseases such as campylobacteriosis
  • zoonoses and One Health
  • immunisation and vaccine preventable diseases
  • the health effects of household crowding
  • home injuries, homelessness
  • seasonality of disease, health effects of climate change
  • public health surveillance and outbreak investigation
  • the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and global health
  • science communication

Michael is a public health physician and Professor in the Department of Public Health. Other positions include:

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Publications

Bennett, J., Zhang, J., Leung, W., Jack, S., Oliver, J., Webb, R., … Sika-Paotonu, D., Harwood, M., & Baker, M. G. (2021). Rising ethnic inequalities in acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, New Zealand, 2000-2018. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 27(1), 36-46. doi: 10.3201/eid2701.191791

Robertson, O., Nathan, K., Howden-Chapman, P., Baker, M. G., Atatoa Carr, P., & Pierse, N. (2021). Residential mobility for a national cohort of New Zealand-born children by area socioeconomic deprivation level and ethnic group. BMJ Open, 11, e039706. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039706

Whitcombe, A. L., Hanson-Manful, P., Jack, S., Upton, A., Atatoa Carr, P., Williamson, D. A., Baker, M. G., … Moreland, N. J. (2020). Development and evaluation of a new triplex immunoassay that detects Group A Streptococcus antibodies for the diagnosis of rheumatic fever. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 58(9), e00300-20. doi: 10.1128/jcm.00300-20

Lake, R. J., Campbell, D. M., Hathaway, S. C., Ashmore, E., Cressey, P. J., Horn, B. J., … Baker, M. G., … French, N. P. (2020). Source attributed case-control study of campylobacteriosis in New Zealand. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.167

Chung, A. W., Ho, T. K. C., Hanson-Manful, P., Tritscheller, S., Raynes, J. M., Whitcombe, A. L., … Oliver, J. R., Gurney, J. K., … Baker, M. G., & Moreland, N. J. (2020). Systems immunology reveals a linked IgG3-C4 response in patients with acute rheumatic fever. Immunology & Cell Biology, 98, 12-21. doi: 10.1111/imcb.12298

Chapter in Book - Research

Howden-Chapman, P., Chisholm, E., Telfar Barnard, L., Viggers, H., O'Sullivan, K., Bennett, J., Bierre, S., Preval, N., Randal, E., Tiatia, R., Ombler, J., Amore, K., Rivera-Muñoz, G., … Davies, C., Aspinall, C., Oliver, J., Baker, M., Keall, M., … Crane, J., & Pierse, N. (2017). Housing, energy and health in resilient cities. In P. Howden-Chapman, L. Early & J. Ombler (Eds.), Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, patterns and possibilities. (pp. 95-106). Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts Aotearoa.

Baker, M., Zhang, J., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2013). The health effects of social housing: The Social Housing Outcomes Worth study. In S. Bierre, P. Howden-Chapman & L. Early (Eds.), Homes people can afford: How to improve housing in New Zealand. (pp. 33-40). Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts Aotearoa.

Harris, R., Purdie, G., Robson, B., Wright, C., Zhang, J., & Baker, M. (2007). Appendix 3: Estimating Māori hospitalisations and cancer registrations. In B. Robson & R. Harris (Eds.), Hauora: Māori standards of health IV: A study of the years 2000-2005. (pp. 249-259). Wellington, New Zealand: Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, University of Otago.

Baker, M., Milosevic, J., Blakely, T., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2004). Housing, crowding and health. In P. Howden-Chapman & P. Carroll (Eds.), Housing & health: Research, policy and innovation. (pp. 57-69). Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts.

Howden-Chapman, P., Crane, J., Baker, M., Cunningham, C., & Matheson, A. (2004). Reducing health inequality through improving housing: He Kainga Oranga/ Housing and Health Research Programme. In P. Howden-Chapman & P. Carroll (Eds.), Housing & health: Research, policy and innovation. (pp. 83-92). Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts.

Baker, M. G., Goodyear, R., & Howden-Chapman, P. L. (2003). Household crowding and health. In What is the extent of crowding in New Zealand?: An analysis of crowding in New Zealand households 1986-2001. (pp. 58-87). Wellington: Statistics New Zealand.

Martin, D., Walker, S. J., Baker, M. G., Roberts, A., & Lennon, D. R. (1996). Epidemic of serogroup B meningococcal disease in New Zealand has parallels with that observed in the Netherlands, 1980-1990. In W. D. Zollinger, C. E. Frasch & C. D. Deal (Eds.), Pathogenic Neisseria. (pp. 496-497). Baltimore, Maryland: National Institute of Health.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Baker, M. (2002). Immunisations and malaria prophylaxis for travellers. In New Ethicals Catalogue 1997-2002. Auckland, New Zealand: Adis International.

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Journal - Research Article

Bennett, J., Zhang, J., Leung, W., Jack, S., Oliver, J., Webb, R., … Sika-Paotonu, D., Harwood, M., & Baker, M. G. (2021). Rising ethnic inequalities in acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, New Zealand, 2000-2018. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 27(1), 36-46. doi: 10.3201/eid2701.191791

Robertson, O., Nathan, K., Howden-Chapman, P., Baker, M. G., Atatoa Carr, P., & Pierse, N. (2021). Residential mobility for a national cohort of New Zealand-born children by area socioeconomic deprivation level and ethnic group. BMJ Open, 11, e039706. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039706

Whitcombe, A. L., Hanson-Manful, P., Jack, S., Upton, A., Atatoa Carr, P., Williamson, D. A., Baker, M. G., … Moreland, N. J. (2020). Development and evaluation of a new triplex immunoassay that detects Group A Streptococcus antibodies for the diagnosis of rheumatic fever. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 58(9), e00300-20. doi: 10.1128/jcm.00300-20

Chung, A. W., Ho, T. K. C., Hanson-Manful, P., Tritscheller, S., Raynes, J. M., Whitcombe, A. L., … Oliver, J. R., Gurney, J. K., … Baker, M. G., & Moreland, N. J. (2020). Systems immunology reveals a linked IgG3-C4 response in patients with acute rheumatic fever. Immunology & Cell Biology, 98, 12-21. doi: 10.1111/imcb.12298

Lake, R. J., Campbell, D. M., Hathaway, S. C., Ashmore, E., Cressey, P. J., Horn, B. J., … Baker, M. G., … French, N. P. (2020). Source attributed case-control study of campylobacteriosis in New Zealand. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.167

Graham, F. F., Hales, S., White, P. S., & Baker, M. G. (2020). Global seroprevalence of legionellosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 10, 7337. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63740-y

Walker, T. A., Waite, B., Thompson, M. G., McArthur, C., Wong, C., Baker, M. G., … Newbern, E. C. (2020). Risk of severe influenza among adults with chronic medical conditions. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 221, 183-190. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiz570

Pierse, N., White, M., Ombler, J., Davis, C., Chisholm, E., Baker, M., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2020). Well Homes Initiative: A home-based intervention to address housing-related ill health. Health Education & Behavior, 47(6), 836-844. doi: 10.1177/1090198120911612

Prasad, N., Walker, T. A., Waite, B., Wood, T., Trenholme, A. A., Baker, M. G., … Newbern, E. C. (2020). Respiratory syncytial virus associated hospitalizations among adults with chronic medical conditions. Clinical Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa730

Cannon, J., Zhung, J., Bennett, J., Moreland, N. J., Baker, M. G., Geelhoed, E., … Jack, S. (2020). The economic and health burden of disease caused by Group A Streptococcus in New Zealand. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.193

Gray, L., MacDonald, C., Tassell-Matamua, N., Stanley, J., Kvalsvig, A., Zhang, J., Murton, S., … Puloka, V., … Baker, M. G. (2020). Wearing one for the team: Views and attitudes to face covering in New Zealand/Aotearoa during COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. Journal of Primary Health Care, 12(3), 199-206. doi: 10.1071/HC20089

Gilpin, B. J., Walker, T., Paine, S., Sherwood, J., Mackereth, G., Wood, T., … Baker, M. G., & Jones, N. (2020). A large scale waterborne Campylobacteriosis outbreak, Havelock North, New Zealand. Journal of Infection, 81, 390-395. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2020.06.065

Sanhueza, J. M., Baker, M. G., Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J. M., Wilson, P. R., & Heuer, C. (2020). Estimation of the burden of leptospirosis in New Zealand. Zoonoses & Public Health, 67, 167-176. doi: 10.1111/zph.12668

Toombs-Ruane, L. J., Benschop, J., French, N. P., Biggs, P. J., Midwinter, A. C., Marshall, J. C., … Baker, M. G., … Burgess, S. A. (2020). Carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-and AmpC beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli from humans and pets in the same households. Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 86(24), e01213-20. doi: 10.1128/aem.01613-20

Nisa, S., Wilkinson, D. A., Angelin-Bonnet, O., Paine, S., Cullen, K., Wight, J., Baker, M. G., & Benschop, J. (2020). Diverse epidemiology of Leptospira serovars notified in New Zealand, 1999-2017. Pathogens, 9, 841. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9100841

Adnan, M., Gao, X., Bai, X., Newbern, E., Sherwood, J., Jones, N., Baker, M., … Gao, W. (2020). Potential early identification of a large campylobacter outbreak using alternative surveillance data sources: Autoregressive modelling and spatiotemporal clustering. JMIR Public Health & Surveillance, 6(3), e18281. doi: 10.2196/18281

Oliver, J., Upton, A., Jack, S. J., Pierse, N., Williamson, D. A., & Baker, M. G. (2020). Distribution of streptococcal pharyngitis and acute rheumatic fever, Auckland, New Zealand, 2010-2016. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 26(6), 1113-1121. doi: 10.3201/eid2606.181462

Wilson, N., Boyd, M., Kvalsvig, A., Chambers, T., & Baker, M. (2020). Public health aspects of the Covid-19 response and opportunities for the post-pandemic era. Policy Quarterly, 16(3), 20-24.

McGregor, R., Whitcombe, A. L., Sheen, C. R., Dickson, J. M., Day, C. L., Carlton, L. H., … Bennett, J., Baker, M. G., … Moreland, N. J. (2020). Collaborative networks enable the rapid establishment of serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 during nationwide lockdown in New Zealand. PeerJ, 8, e9863. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9863

Wilson, N., Schwehm, M., Verrall, A. J., Parry, M., Baker, M. G., & Eichner, M. (2020). Detecting the re-emergent COVID-19 pandemic after elimination: Modelling study of combined primary care and hospital surveillance. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1524), 28-39. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Wilson, N., Turner, N., & Baker, M. G. (2019). One hundred years ago in 1919: New Zealand's birth reduction shock associated with an influenza pandemic. New Zealand Medical Journal, 132(1507), 57-62. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Huang, Q. S., Bandaranayake, D., Wood, T., Newbern, E. C., Seeds, R., Ralston, J., … Baker, M. G., … on behalf of the SHIVERS investigation team. (2019). Risk factors and attack rates of seasonal influenza infection: Results of the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) seroepidemiologic cohort study. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 219, 347-357. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy443

Ammar, S. E., McIntyre, M., Swan, T., Kasper, J., Derraik, J. G. B., Baker, M. G., & Hales, S. (2019). Intercepted mosquitoes at New Zealand's ports of entry, 2001 to 2018: Current status and future concerns. Tropical Medicine & Infectious Disease, 4(3), 101. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed4030101

Prasad, N., Huang, S., Wood, T., Aminisani, N., McArthur, C., Baker, M. G., … Newbern, C. (2019). Influenza associated outcomes among pregnant, post-partum, and non-pregnant women of reproductive age. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 219(12), 1893-1903. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiz035

Mayfield, H. J., Smith, C. S., Lowry, J. H., Watson, C. H., Baker, M. G., Kama, M., … Lau, C. L. (2018). Predictive risk mapping of an environmentally-driven infectious disease using spatial Bayesian networks: A case study of leptospirosis in Fiji. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12(10), e0006857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006857

Oliver, J., Malliya Wadu, E., Pierse, N., Moreland, N. J., Williamson, D. A., & Baker, M. G. (2018). Group A Streptococcus pharyngitis and pharyngeal carriage: A meta-analysis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12(3), e0006335. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006335

Boyd, M., Mansoor, O. D., Baker, M. G., & Wilson, N. (2018). Economic evaluation of border closure for a generic severe pandemic threat using New Zealand Treasury methods. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(5), 444-446. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12818

Oliver, J., Foster, T., Williamson, D. A., Pierse, N., & Baker, M. G. (2018). Using preceding hospital admissions to identify children at risk of developing acute rheumatic fever. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 54(5), 499-505. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13786

Oliver, J., Foster, T., Kvalsvig, A., Williamson, D. A., Baker, M. G., & Pierse, N. (2018). Risk of rehospitalisation and death for vulnerable New Zealand children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103(4), 327-334. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-312671

Thompson, M. G., Pierse, N., Huang, Q. S., Prasad, N., Duque, J., Newbern, E. C., Baker, M. G., … on behalf of the SHIVERS investigation team, including Williamson, D. A. (2018). Influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing influenza-associated intensive care admissions and attenuating severe disease among adults in New Zealand 2012–2015. Vaccine, 36(39), 5916-5925. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.07.028

Summers, J. A., Baker, M. G., & Wilson, N. (2018). New Zealand's experience of the 1918-9 influenza pandemic: A systematic review after 100 years. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1487), 54-69. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Allan, P. D., Palmer, C., Chan, F., Lyons, R., Nicholson, O., Rose, M., Hales, S., & Baker, M. G. (2018). Food safety labelling of chicken to prevent campylobacteriosis: Consumer expectations and current practices. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 414. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5322-z

Jack, S. J., Williamson, D. A., Galloway, Y., Pierse, N., Zhang, J., Oliver, J., … Baker, M. G. (2018). Primary prevention of rheumatic fever in the 21st century: Evaluation of a national programme. International Journal of Epidemiology, 47(5), 1585-1593. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy150

Doyle, H., Pierse, N., Tiatia, R., Williamson, D., Baker, M., & Crane, J. (2018). The effect of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius (K12) on Group A streptococcus pharyngitis: A pragmatic trial in schools. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 37(7), 619-623. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001847

Oliver, J., Pierse, N., Williamson, D. A., & Baker, M. G. (2018). Estimating the likely true changes in rheumatic fever incidence using two data sources. Epidemiology & Infection, 146(2), 265-275. doi: 10.1017/S0950268817002734

Wilson, N., McIntyre, M., Blaschke, P., Muellner, P., Mansoor, O. D., & Baker, M. G. (2018). Potential public health benefits from eradicating rats in New Zealand cities and a tentative research agenda. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 84(4), 280-290. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2017.1343193

Lal, A., Marshall, J., Benschop, J., Brock, A., Hales, S., Baker, M. G., & French, N. P. (2018). A Bayesian spatio-temporal framework to identify outbreaks and examine environmental and social risk factors for infectious diseases monitored by routine surveillance. Spatial & Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 25, 39-48. doi: 10.1016/j.sste.2017.10.004

Cannon, J. W., Jack, S., Wu, Y., Zhang, J., Baker, M. G., Geelhoed, E., … Carapetis, J. R. (2018). An economic case for a vaccine to prevent group A streptococcus skin infections. Vaccine, 36(46), 6968-6978. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.10.001

Khieu, T. Q. T., Pierse, N., Telfar-Barnard, L. F., Zhang, J., Huang, Q. S., & Baker, M. G. (2017). Modelled seasonal influenza mortality shows marked differences in risk by age, sex, ethnicity and socioeconomic position in New Zealand. Journal of Infection, 75(3), 225-233. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2017.05.017

Wilson, N., Ferguson, C., Rice, G., Baker, M. G., Schrader, B., Clement, C., & Thomson, G. (2017). Remembering the 1918 influenza pandemic: National suvey of memorials and scope for enhancing educational value around pandemic preparedness. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1465), 53-70. Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Keall, M. D., Pierse, N., Howden-Chapman, P., Guria, J., Cunningham, C. W., & Baker, M. G. (2017). Cost—benefit analysis of fall injuries prevented by a programme of home modifications: A cluster randomised controlled trial. Injury Prevention, 23(1), 22-26. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041947

Oliver, J. R., Pierse, N., Stefanogiannis, N., Jackson, C., & Baker, M. G. (2017). Acute rheumatic fever and exposure to poor housing conditions in New Zealand: A descriptive study. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 53(4), 358-364. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13421

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