Timothy B. Baker, PhD, UW-CTRI Research Director

Timothy Baker, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California and his Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Utah. Dr. Baker has served as Director of Research at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) since its inception in 1992.  He has been PI or co-PI on four consecutive five year National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center grants (from 1999 to the present), providing funding for a broad array of research at UW-CTRI.

In 2008, the National Cancer Institute awarded Baker a five-year Career Scientist Award. During the last two decades, under the direction of Dr. Baker, UW-CTRI has secured more than $100 million in total external grant funding, primarily from the NIH.

Dr. Baker’s research interests are broad and include a concentration on tobacco-dependence treatment and outcomes. In these studies, various pharmacotherapies and counseling approaches to assist in successful smoking cessation have been examined in numerous comparative effectiveness trials. His research findings and perspectives on tobacco science have been published in prominent journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Addiction, and others. His research has not only examined the effectiveness of treatments, but also how quitting smoking affects a person's physical health, mental health, quality of life and social interactions. In addition, his research has explored the genetics of nicotine dependence and treatment response. He is particularly interested in motivational factors in addiction and has published multiple papers on that subject. The former Editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Baker is a recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Award from the American Psychological Society. He accepted the 2016 recipient of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s Ove Ferno Award, honoring scientists who have made groundbreaking advances in nicotine addiction and tobacco control clinical research.

Dr. Baker served as the senior scientist on the panel that produced the United States Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence for all three editions of that publication (1996, 2000, and 2008). This document provides a gold standard for healthcare providers regarding evidence-based tobacco dependence treatments.

University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention Research Professorship

Dr. Baker holds the UW-CTRI Research Professorship, established to recruit and retain the UW-CTRI Director of Research. Funds aid in the prevention, treatment, and research of tobacco dependence.

The recipient receives an annual allocation of the interest/investment income from the endowment fund, to be used to support the advancement of his/her scholarly activities. Interest from the endowment is divided between salary support and discretionary funding. One half of the funds received are allocated for base salary support. If the holder of the UW-CTRI Research Professorship generates sufficient extramural support to account for the portion of the base salary covered by the endowment interest, those funds will be available to support research on an annual basis. The discretionary portion of the allocation may be used for research program support, travel, books, journals and supplies, and for other expenses and services that further the scholarly activities of the UW-CTRI Research Professorship. In addition, the funds may be used to otherwise benefit the Center for Tobacco, Research and Intervention programs in the School of Medicine and Public Health.

The UW-CTRI Research Professorship is appointed for a term of five years and may be reappointed based on continued appointment as Director of Research and contingent upon continued scholarly productivity and outstanding leadership. This appointment will be recommended by the UW-CTRI Director with the approval of the Dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health with the concurrence of the UW-Madison Provost.

To schedule interviews with UW-CTRI representatives, contact Communications.