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Professor Michael Baker, Department of Public Health

MBChB, FNZCPHM, FRACMA, DComH, DObst

michael baker photo

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

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 environmental health, infectious diseases, and housing. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers on these topics.

In 2013 Michael was awarded the HRC Liley Medal 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.

His research areas include:
• infectious disease epidemiology
• emerging infectious diseases
• pandemic influenza and how it can be contained
• 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

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

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

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

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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12818

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

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

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. Advance online publication. 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

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

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, dyy150. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy150

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

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

Huang, Q. S., Bandaranayake, D., Wood, T., Newbern, E. C., Seeds, R., Ralston, J., … Baker, M. G., … on behalf of the SHIVERS investigation team. (2018). Risk factors and attack rates of seasonal influenza infection: Results of the SHIVERS seroepidemiologic cohort study. Journal of Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy443

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

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

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

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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006335

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

Boyd, M., Baker, M. G., Mansoor, O. D., Kvizhinadze, G., & Wilson, N. (2017). Protecting an island nation from extreme pandemic threats: Proof-of-concept around border closure as an intervention. PLoS ONE, 12(6), e0178732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178732

Telfar-Barnard, L., Bennett, J., Howden-Chapman, P., Jacobs, D. E., Ormandy, D., Cutler-Welsh, M., Preval, N., Baker, M. G., & Keall, M. (2017). Measuring the effect of housing quality interventions: The case of the New Zealand "Rental Warrant of Fitness". International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 14(11), 1352. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14111352

Pierse, N., Kelly, H., Thompson, M. G., Bissielo, A., Radke, S., Huang, Q. S., Baker, M. G., Turner, N., on behalf of the SHIVERS investigation team. (2016). Influenza vaccine effectiveness for hospital and community patients using control groups with and without non-influenza respiratory viruses detected, Auckland, New Zealand 2014. Vaccine, 34(4), 503-509. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.11.073

Davis, R. E., Dougherty, E., McArthur, C., Huang, Q. S., & Baker, M. G. (2016). Cold, dry air is associated with influenza and pneumonia mortality in Auckland, New Zealand. Influenza & Other Respiratory Viruses, 10(4), 310-313. doi: 10.1111/irv.12369

Bennett, J., Howden-Chapman, P., Chisholm, E., Keall, M., & Baker, M. G. (2016). Towards an agreed quality standard for rental housing: Field testing of a New Zealand housing WOF tool. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(5), 405-411. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12519

Lal, A., Dobbins, T., Bagheri, N., Baker, M. G., French, N. P., & Hales, S. (2016). Cryptosporidiosis risk in New Zealand children under 5 years old is greatest in areas with high dairy cattle densities. EcoHealth, 13(4), 652-660. doi: 10.1007/s10393-016-1187-8

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., Baker, M. G., Wilson, N. J., & Sarfati, D. (2016). Estimating the risk of acute rheumatic fever in New Zealand by age, ethnicity and deprivation. Epidemiology & Infection, 144(14), 3058-3067. doi: 10.1017/s0950268816001291

Lal, A., Hales, S., Kirk, M., Baker, M. G., & French, N. P. (2016). Spatial and temporal variation in the association between temperature and salmonellosis in NZ. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(2), 165-169. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12413

Baker, M. G., Zhang, J., Blakely, T., Crane, J., Saville-Smith, K., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2016). Collaborating with a social housing provider supports a large cohort study of the health effects of housing conditions. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 159. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-2730-9

Oliver, J., Baker, M. G., Pierse, N., & Carapetis, J. (2015). Comparison of approaches to rheumatic fever surveillance across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12969

Jennings, L. C., Priest, P. C., Psutka, R. A., Duncan, A. R., Anderson, T., Mahagamasekera, P., Strathdee, A., & Baker, M. G. (2015). Respiratory viruses in airline travellers with influenza symptoms: Results of an airport screening study. Journal of Clinical Virology, 67, 8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.03.011

Khieu, T. Q. T., Pierse, N., Telfar-Barnard, L. F., Huang, Q. S., & Baker, M. G. (2015). Estimating the contribution of influenza to hospitalisations in New Zealand from 1994 to 2008. Vaccine, 33(33), 4087-4092. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.06.080

Oliver, J., Pierse, N., & Baker, M. G. (2015). Estimating rheumatic fever incidence in New Zealand using multiple data sources. Epidemiology & Infection, 143(1), 167-177. doi: 10.1017/s0950268814000296

Keall, M. D., Pierse, N., Howden-Chapman, P., Cunningham, C., Cunningham, M., Guria, J., & Baker, M. G. (2015). Home modifications to reduce injuries from falls in the Home Injury Prevention Intervention (HIPI) study: A cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 385(9964), 231-238. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61006-0

Williamson, D. A., Smeesters, P. R., Steer, A. C., Steemson, J. D., Ng, A. C. H., Proft, T., … Baker, M. G., … Moreland, N. J. (2015). M-protein analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes isolates associated with acute rheumatic fever in New Zealand. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 53(11), 3618-3620. doi: 10.1128/jcm.02129-15

Kessaram, T., Stanley, J., & Baker, M. G. (2015). Estimating influenza-associated mortality in New Zealand from 1990 to 2008. Influenza & Other Respiratory Viruses, 9(1), 14-19. doi: 10.1111/irv.12292

Huang, Q. S., Turner, N., Baker, M. G., Williamson, D. A., Wong, C., Webby, R., … on behalf of the SHIVERS investigation team. (2015). Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance. Influenza & Other Respiratory Viruses, 9(4), 179-190. doi: 10.1111/irv.12315

Williamson, D. A., Morgan, J., Hope, V., Fraser, J. D., Moreland, N. J., Proft, T., … Baker, M. G., & Carter, P. E. (2015). Increasing incidence of invasive group A streptococcus disease in New Zealand, 2002 – 2012: A national population-based study. Journal of Infection, 70(2), 127-134. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2014.09.001

Telfar Barnard, L. F., Baker, M. G., Hales, S., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2015). Novel use of three administrative datasets to establish a cohort for environmental health research. BMC Public Health, 15, 246. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1580-1

McDonald, A. M., Sarfati, D., Baker, M. G., & Blakely, T. (2015). Trends in Helicobacter pylori infection among Māori, Pacific, and European birth cohorts in New Zealand. Helicobacter, 20(2), 139-145. doi: 10.1111/hel.12186

Lal, A., Lill, A. W. T., Mcintyre, M., Hales, S., Baker, M. G., & French, N. P. (2015). Environmental change and enteric zoonoses in New Zealand: A systematic review of the evidence. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(1), 63-68. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12274

MacRae, J., Love, T., Baker, M. G., Dowell, A., Carnachan, M., Stubbe, M., & McBain, L. (2015). Identifying influenza-like illness presentation from unstructured general practice clinical narrative using a text classifier rule-based expert system versus a clinical expert. BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making, 15, 78. doi: 10.1186/s12911-015-0201-3

Williamson, D. A., Moreland, N. J., Carter, P., Upton, A., Morgan, J., Proft, T., … Baker, M. G., … Fraser, J. D. (2014). Molecular epidemiology of group A streptococcus from pharyngeal isolates in Auckland, New Zealand, 2013. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1388). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Williamson, D. A., Ritchie, S. R., Roberts, S. A., Coombs, G. W., Thomas, M. G., Hannaford, O., Baker, M. G., … Fraser, J. D. (2014). Clinical and molecular epidemiology of community-onset invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection in New Zealand children. Epidemiology & Infection, 142(8), 1713-1721. doi: 10.1017/s0950268814000053

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