Suzanne J. Baker, PhD

Suzanne J. Baker, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty
Co-leader, Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program


Developmental Neurobiology

Contact Information

Suzanne Baker, PhD
Developmental Neurobiology
Room D2006C
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678
Phone: (901) 595-2254
FAX: (901) 595-2270


PhD - The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Research Interests

The laboratory is focused on understanding growth regulation and tumor suppression in the brain. Our approach uses in vivo and in vitro model systems to analyze the function of genes of known importance in human glioma, in the context of normal brain development and gliomagenesis. We have developed in vivo models that demonstrated the complexity of signal transduction through the PI3K-PTEN pathway. We also are studying the mutations underlying the formation of pediatric high grade gliomas using array based analyses of primary human tumor samples.


Selected Publications

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, Wu G, Broniscer A, McEachron TA, Lu C, Paugh BS, Becksfort J, Qu C, Ding L, Huether R, Parker M, Zhang J, Gajjar A, Dyer MA, Mullighan CG, Gilbertson RJ, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Ellison DW, Zhang J, Baker SJ. Somatic histone H3 alterations in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas and non-brainstem glioblastomas. Nat Genet January 29, 2012.

Paugh BS, Broniscer A, Qu C, Miller CP, Zhang J, Tatevossian RG, Olson JM, Geyer JR, Chi SN, da Silva NS, Onar-Thomas A, Baker JN, Gajjar A, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Genome-wide analyses identify recurrent amplifications of receptor tyrosine kinases and cell-cycle regulatory genes in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. J Clin Oncol September 19, 2011.

Endersby R, Zhu X, Hay N, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Nonredundant functions for Akt isoforms in astrocyte growth and gliomagenesis in an orthotopic transplantation model. Cancer Res 71(12):4106-16, 2011.

Chow LM, Endersby R, Zhu X, Rankin S, Qu C, Zhang J, Broniscer A, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Cooperativity within and among Pten, p53, and Rb pathways induces high-grade astrocytoma in adult brain. Cancer Cell 19(3):305-16, 2011.

Paugh BS, Qu C, Jones C, Liu Z, Adamowicz-Brice M, Zhang J, Bax DA, Coyle B, Barrow J, Hargrave D, Lowe J, Gajjar A, Zhao W, Broniscer A, Ellison DW, Grundy RG, Baker SJ. Integrated molecular genetic profiling of pediatric high-grade gliomas reveals key differences with the adult disease. J Clin Oncol 28(18):3061-3068, 2010.

Broniscer A, Baker JN, Baker SJ, Chi SN, Geyer JR, Morris EB, Gajjar A. Prospective collection of tissue samples at autopsy in children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Cancer 116(19):4632-4637, 2010.

Chalhoub N, Zuo G, Zuo , Baker SJ. Cell-type specificity of PI3K signaling in Pdk1- and Pten-deficient brain. Genes Dev 23(14):1619-1624, 2009.

Frappart P-O, Lee Y, Russell HR, Chalhoub N, Wang Y-D, Orii KE, Zhao J, Kondo N, Baker SJ, McKinnon PJ. Genetic Alterations in medulloblastoma from mice with defective DNA double strand break repair. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:1880-1885, 2009.

Chalhoub N, Baker SJ. PTEN and the PI3K Signaling Pathway in Cancer. Annu Rev Pathol 4:127-150, 2009.

Endersby R, Baker SJ. PTEN Signaling in Brain: Neuropathology and Tumorigenesis. Oncogene 27:5416-5430, 2008.

Chow LML, Zhang J, Baker SJ. Inducible Cre recombinase activity in mouse mature astrocytes and adult neural precursor cells. Transgenic Research 17:919-928, 2008.

Fraser MM, Bayazitov IT, Zakharenko SS, Baker SJ. Pten deficiency in brain causes defects in synaptic structure, transmission and plasticity, and myelination abnormalities. Neuroscience 151:476-488, 2008.

Broniscer A, Baker SJ, West AN, Fraser MM, Proko E, Kocak M, Dalton J, Zambetti GP, Ellison DW, Kun LE, Gajjar A, Gilbertson RJ, Fuller CE. Clinical and molecular characteristics of malignant transformation of low-grade glioma in children. J Clin Oncol 25: 682-689, 2007.

Baker SJ. PTEN Enters the Nuclear Age. Cell 128: 125-8, 2007.

Chow LM, Tian Y, Weber T, Corbett M, Zuo J, Baker SJ. Inducible Cre recombinase activity in mouse cerebellar granule cell precursors and inner ear hair cells. Dev Dyn 11: 2991-8, 2006.

Chalhoub N, Kozma SC, Baker SJ. S6k1 is not required for Pten-deficient neuronal hypertrophy. Brain Res 1100:32-41, 2006.

Kwon C-H, Luikart BW, Powell CM, Zhou J, Matheny SA, Zhang W, Li Y, Baker SJ, Parada LF. Pten regulates neuronal arborization and social interaction in mice. Neuron 50: 377-388, 2006.

Chow LM, Baker SJ. PTEN function in normal and neoplastic growth. Cancer Lett 241: 184-196, 2006.

Abel TW, Baker SJ, Fraser MM, Tihan T, Nelson JS, Yachnis A, Bouffard J, Mena H, Burger PC, Eberhart CG. Lhermitte-Duclos Disease: a Report of 31 Cases with Immunohistochemical Analysis of the PTEN/AKT/mTOR Pathway. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 64:341-349, 2005.

Fraser MM, Zhu X, Kwon C-H, Uhlman EJ, Bajenaru ML, Gutmann DH, Baker SJ. Pten loss causes hypertrophy and increased proliferation of astrocytes in vivo. Cancer Res 64:7773-7779, 2004.

Baker SJ and McKinnon PJ. Tumour-suppressor function in the nervous system. Nat Rev Cancer 4, 184-96, 2004.

Kwon CH, Zhu X, Zhang J and Baker SJ. mTor is required for hypertrophy of Pten-deficient neuronal soma in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100, 12923-8, 2003.

Kwon CH, et al. Pten regulates neuronal soma size: a mouse model of Lhermitte-Duclos disease. Nat Genet 29, 404-11, 2001.

Last update: February 2012