King’s College Hospital is the largest of three centres established to manage the UK’s paediatric liver disease including liver failure, chronic liver disease, its investigation and treatment, hepatic metabolic diseases, paediatric liver transplantation, intestinal transplantation and pancreatic diseases. Professor Baker is one of nine consultants and the Clinical Lead for the centre.
He was appointed at King’s College Hospital in 1993 and has contributed to the development of the service ever since. His interests include cholestatic liver disease in particular Alagille syndrome, outcomes of liver transplantation, the early diagnosis of cholestatic disorders including biliary atresia, the management of cardiac diseases with liver disease including congenital heart disease and heart dysfunction in chronic liver disease in anticipation of need for liver transplantation. He established the Paediatric Intensive Care at King’s College Hospital and has had a long-term interest in nutritional care in chronic liver disease.
Professor Baker has held various national and international roles including first Treasurer and then National President of the British Society Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Hepatology Representative of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Training Committee for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Nutrition, Chair of the European Society Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition National Societies Group, Technical Director of the Health Care Work Stream of TransplantChild, European Reference Network for the European Commission.
The epidemic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in children has developed during Professor Baker’s clinical career. Various social and epidemiological factors are associated with this epidemic which threatens severe liver disease in young adults as well as being associated with features of metabolic syndrome in middle age. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in children appears more of a public health issue than a hepatological one.