Jeffrey P. Baker, Professor of Pediatrics and Research Professor of History and Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Jeffrey P. Baker

My formal training (PhD) is in the history of medicine. I am particularly interested in the history of Pediatrics in the following areas of study.
- Neonatal Medicine
- Preventive Pediatrics
- Childhood Immunizations

My current work focuses on the history of autism, focused on the United States and Britain.

Office Location:  6301 Herndon Rd, Durham, NC 27713-6315
Office Phone:  (919) 620-5374
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2018):


Ph.D.Duke University1993
M.D.Duke University1984
Research Interests:

Dr. Baker's research centers on the history of child health and medical technology. Dr. Baker has taught courses on the history of medical ethics, medical technology, and genetics. He has published a book, The Machine in the Nursery, recounting the origins of the premature infant nursery in Europe and the United States. He is now working on a history of immunizations.


Authoritarianism • Autistic Disorder • Bacterial Vaccines • Behavior Therapy • Benchmarking • Bioethics • Brain • Child • Communicable Disease Control • Communicable Diseases • Diphtheria Toxoid • Disease Outbreaks • Drug Industry • France • Government Regulation • Great Britain • History, 19th Century • History, 20th Century • History, 21st Century • Humans • Immunization Programs • Incubators • Incubators, Infant • Infant • Infant, Newborn • Infant, Premature • Internationality • Love • Measles Vaccine • Medical Errors • Medical Laboratory Science • Mercury Poisoning • Neonatology • Parental Consent • Pediatrics • Pertussis Vaccine • Physicians, Women • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical • Psychiatry • Psychology, Applied • Public Health • Research Subjects • Risk Assessment • Risk Management • Twentieth century • United States • Vaccination • Vaccines • Viral Vaccines • Whooping Cough • Women

Representative Publications

  1. Baker, JP, Mercury, vaccines, and autism: one controversy, three histories., American journal of public health, vol. 98 no. 2 (February, 2008), pp. 244-253, ISSN 1541-0048 [18172138], [doi]  [abs]
  2. Baker, JP; Katz, SL, Childhood vaccine development: an overview., Pediatric Research, vol. 55 no. 2 (February, 2004), pp. 347-356, ISSN 0031-3998 [14630981], [doi]  [abs]
  3. Baker, JP, The pertussis vaccine controversy in Great Britain, 1974-1986., Vaccine, vol. 21 no. 25-26 (September, 2003), pp. 4003-4010, ISSN 0264-410X [12922137]  [abs]
  4. Baker, J.P. “Technology in the Nursery,” in Formative Years: Children’s Health in the United States 1880-2000, ed. Alexandra Minna Stern and Howard Markel (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002)
  5. Baker, JP, The incubator and the medical discovery of the premature infant., Journal of Perinatology, vol. 20 no. 5 (July, 2000), pp. 321-328, ISSN 0743-8346 [10920793]  [abs]
  6. Baker, JP, Immunization and the American way: 4 childhood vaccines., American journal of public health, vol. 90 no. 2 (February, 2000), pp. 199-207, ISSN 0090-0036 [10667180]  [abs]
  7. Book Review: Heather Munro Prescott, A Doctor of Their Own: The History of Adolescent Medicine. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74 (2000): 409-410
  8. Book Review: Murdina Desmond, Newborn Medicine and Society. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 73 (1999): 743-744
  9. Baker, Jeffrey P.  The Machine in the Nursery: Incubator Technology and  the Origins of Newborn Intensive Care (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)
  10. Mauro, R.D., Baker, J., and Mackedonski, V. "A Five-year-old Girl with Acute Renal Failure and Multiple Cerebral Infarctions." Journal of Pediatrics 115 (1989):816-823.