15th WCEH 2018


Professor Michael Baker

Director of the Health Environment and Infection Research Unit (HEIRU); and Co-Director of He Kainga Oranga (Housing and Health Research Programme), New Zealand

Professor Michael Baker Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Improving health through the built environment

Michael’s research interests focus on infectious diseases, environmental health, and the health effects of housing conditions. His housing research has included work on the health effects of social housing and housing improvements, the housing warrant of fitness and housing improvements to reduce hospital readmissions in children. He is leading two Health Research Council funded projects aiming to better understand the causes of rheumatic fever with a focus on housing conditions, such as household crowding.

In 2013 Michael was awarded the Health Research Council’s Liley Medal for his contribution to health and medical sciences. In 2014 he received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize as a member of He Kainga Oranga. He regularly works internationally for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is a Chief Investigator for the Australian based Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response (ISER). Michael has a strong interest in science communication and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Science Media Centre. He is active in workforce training and development and is Director of Continuing Professional Development for the NZ College of Public Health Medicine.