CSPC 2021 has ended
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Michael G. Baker

Department of Public Health, University of Otago
Professor of Public Health

Michael is passionate about opportunities to organise society in ways that promote health, equity and sustainability. His work during 2020-21 has been dominated by assisting with the Covid-19 pandemic response. He is a member of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group and has been a leading architect and advocate for the Covid-19 elimination strategy. He established a programme of research on the epidemiology, prevention and control of Covid-19 (Co-Search), which has generated a large amount of published research and commentary aimed at improving the pandemic response. 

Michael has a wide range of public health research interests, with a focus on infectious diseases, environmental health, and improving housing conditions. He is leading a 5-year programme investigating the relationship between infectious diseases, long-term conditions, and social determinants (SYMBOTIC) and research to identify improved ways to prevent rheumatic fever.

Michael has a strong interest in science communication and is a member of the Advisory Board of the NZ Science Media Centre.  He has worked internationally with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on a range of global health projects including helping to establish the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and disease elimination and eradication efforts. 

Michael’s work on public health, and the Covid-19 response in particular, was recognised by a number of recent awards including: the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities , the Public Health Champion award (from the Public Health Association of NZ), being made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM), his selection as the 2020 Wellingtonian of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize in 2021.