Skip to main content

Jeffrey Paul Baker, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics
Research Professor in the Department of History
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Campus mail: 234 Crooked Creek Parkway, Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 620-5374
Email address: jeffrey.baker@duke.edu

I am a practicing pediatrician and a medical historian.   My early research focused on the early history of premature infant care and neonatal medicine.   Featured in my book, The Machine in the Nursery: Incubator Technology and the Origins of Neonatal Intensive Care, I examined how the controversy around the introduction of baby incubators at the dawn of the 20th century became a flash point for broader anxieties around medical technology, eugenics, and the role of physicians versus mothers in the care of young infants.   
My later research moved to this history of vaccines, and why this highly-regarded public health intervention ignited fierce public resistance in the late 20th century.  The alleged links between vaccines and autism were an important part of this story which led me to work on other aspect of the history of autism as well.  I have spoken and written in particular about the role of Leo Kanner in shaping both the definition of autism and the construction of an associated stereotype of parents as brilliant but cold and aloof.

In the past two years I have been focusing on how history, race, and health disparities.  I have been working on a project exploring this question in Duke's home community of Durham, North Carolina.   The first phase of this work looked at four case studies over the course of the past century:  tuberculosis in the early 1900s, childbirth during desegregation, HIV, and diabetes since 2000.   We hope to expand this work to show how understanding history is essential to explaining racial health disparities today.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University, 1993
  • M.D., Duke University, 1984

Publications

Campbell, Kathleen, Kimberly Lh Carpenter, Jordan Hashemi, Steven Espinosa, Samuel Marsan, Jana Schaich Borg, Zhuoqing Chang, et al. “Computer vision analysis captures atypical attention in toddlers with autism..” Autism 23, no. 3 (April 2019): 619–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361318766247.

Full Text

Dawson, Geraldine, Kathleen Campbell, Jordan Hashemi, Steven J. Lippmann, Valerie Smith, Kimberly Carpenter, Helen Egger, et al. “Atypical postural control can be detected via computer vision analysis in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder..” Sci Rep 8, no. 1 (November 19, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35215-8.

Full Text

Hashemi, J., G. Dawson, K. L. H. Carpenter, K. Campbell, Q. Qiu, S. Espinosa, S. Marsan, J. P. Baker, H. L. Egger, and G. Sapiro. “Computer Vision Analysis for Quantification of Autism Risk Behaviors.” Ieee Transactions on Affective Computing, August 31, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1109/TAFFC.2018.2868196.

Full Text

Baker, Jeffrey P. “History Lesson: Vaccine Trials in the Classroom..” Am J Public Health 108, no. 8 (August 2018): 976–77. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304538.

Full Text

Baker, Jeffrey P., and Birgit Lang. “Eugenics and the Origins of Autism..” Pediatrics 140, no. 2 (August 2017). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1419.

Full Text

Campbell, Kathleen, Kimberly L. H. Carpenter, Steven Espinosa, Jordan Hashemi, Qiang Qiu, Mariano Tepper, Robert Calderbank, et al. “Use of a Digital Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - Revised with Follow-up to Improve Quality of Screening for Autism..” J Pediatr 183 (April 2017): 133-139.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.01.021.

Full Text

Hashemi, J., K. Campbell, K. L. H. Carpenter, A. Harris, Q. Qiu, M. Tepper, S. Espinosa, et al. “A scalable app for measuring autism risk behaviors in young children: A technical validity and feasibility study.” Mobihealth 2015  5th Eai International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare  Transforming Healthcare Through Innovations in Mobile and Wireless Technologies, December 22, 2015. https://doi.org/10.4108/eai.14-10-2015.2261939.

Full Text

Bowman, Rachel A., Jeffrey P. Baker, and Jeffrey P. Duke University School of Medicine. “Screams, slaps, and love: the strange birth of applied behavior analysis..” Pediatrics 133, no. 3 (March 2014): 364–66. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-2583.

Full Text

Baker, Jeffrey P. “Autism at 70--redrawing the boundaries..” N Engl J Med 369, no. 12 (September 19, 2013): 1089–91. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1306380.

Full Text

Baker, Jeffrey P. “The first measles vaccine..” Pediatrics 128, no. 3 (September 2011): 435–37. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-1430.

Full Text

Pages