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Barbara A. Baird

Horace White Professor

Barbara A. Baird

Educational Background

  • Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute, NIH
  • PhD, Cornell University
  • BS, Knox College



Biophysical studies of membrane receptor proteins, signal transduction and cellular responses


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Pharmacology


The Baird research laboratory integrates a broad range of experimental approaches to investigate molecular mechanisms of receptor-mediated cell signaling that enables cells to sense and respond to environmental cues. Much of our work has focused on the high affinity receptor (FcεRI) for immunoglobulin E (IgE), which sensitizes mast cells to antigen and thereby plays a pivotal role in initiating inflammatory and allergic immune responses. We employ quantitative microscopy and other biophysical methods to monitor changes in the distributions and dynamics of receptors and signaling components that accompany cellular response activities, which we measure in parallel. A particular area of interest is the role of cellular membranes in regulating and targeting signaling pathways. We have long worked to characterize IgE-FcεRI- mediated signaling in RBL mast cells as a model system for addressing fundamental questions of cellular response mechanisms initiated by other receptors and environmental factors. Similarly, we are translating the experimental techniques and cell response concepts developed in our work to elucidate mechanisms in other cell types, including those involved in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.


Spring 2022


[ A complete list of publications can be found on the Baird-Holowka Group webpage]