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U-M oncologist, Southwest Oncology Group chairman receives Sarcoma Foundation of America's Nobility in Science Award
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Ann Arbor - Laurence H. Baker, D.O., chairman of the Southwest Oncology Group and professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Michigan, has received the Sarcoma Foundation of America’s Nobility in Science Award. Baker was honored for his 34-year commitment to the advancement of scientific knowledge about sarcoma. The award was presented at the fourth annual Sarcoma Foundation of America gala dinner May 22 in New York City.
Sarcoma, one of the rarest types of cancers, affects bones, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels and other connective or supportive tissue. In addition to his association with the Southwest Oncology Group and the University of Michigan, Baker is the executive director and president of SARC (the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration). SARC’s mission is to conduct clinical trials to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoma, and to ultimately find a cure for this disease. The organization includes participants from 20 institutions with many physicians from various diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines whose practices are limited to sarcoma. In addition, SARC is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information about sarcoma to physicians, patients and families affected by the disease.
Baker became chair of the Southwest Oncology Group, one of the nation’s largest cancer clinical trials cooperative groups, in April 2005. He joined the group in 1972 and has served in several capacities through the years, including chair-elect, associate chair and chair of the Intergroup Sarcoma Committee.
Baker graduated from Brooklyn College in New York City in 1962 and received his osteopathy degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1966. He completed his oncology fellowship at Wayne State University in Detroit, then joined the faculty there in 1972. He became director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology from 1982-1992, and in 1987 accepted the directorship of the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center of Metropolitan Detroit.
In 1994, Baker joined the University of Michigan as professor of medicine and associate chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine. He also served as deputy director and director for clinical research for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Baker has authored 200 publications for peer-reviewed journals,
47 books or book chapters and 139 abstracts. He also owns
a patent on “Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteosarcoma,”
which was registered in March 2002.