Mei Baker Named Everyday Life Saver in Newborn Screening

WSLH Newborn Screening Director and UW Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Mei Baker received the Everyday Life Saver Award in Newborn Screening at the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) 2022 Newborn Screening Symposium.

APHL’s Everyday Life Saver Award in Newborn Screening highlights the meaningful, ongoing ways the recipient contributes to the morale of their team and/or operations of their program on a daily basis.

Baker also won APHL’s Harry Hannon Laboratory Improvement Award in Newborn Screening in 2014, but said this latest award means so much more.

“This second APHL award holds a very special place in my heart because the nominators are from home,” she said.

From one of her nomination letters –

“Dr. Baker has made great contributions to expanding and improving the screening of newborns by public health agencies in Wisconsin and nationally through her research in public health genetics and genomics, which focuses on applying and translating advanced biochemical and molecular technologies into routine newborn screening practice.

“Dr. Baker has developed methods and improvements to screen for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), Fragile X, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Pompe disease. These improvements have had a direct effect in improving the quality of life of newborns and their families through assuring laboratory accreditation requirements, enhancing the specificity of testing and establishing new creative laboratory approaches and technologies. In addition, Dr. Baker serves as mentor to several junior faculty, as well as to her public health scientific staff within the WSLH; giving them opportunities to grow and develop. She is an inspiration to all that have an interest in public health Newborn Screening and have an opportunity to work with her.”