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Neuroscientist Christa Baker Wins C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy

Memorial Belltower

Christa Baker, assistant professor of biological sciences at NC State, has received the C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy from the American Association for Anatomy. 

The Herrick Award is a top early-career investigator honor that recognizes researchers who have made important contributions to biomedical science through their work in comparative neuroanatomy. The award, which will be presented in March at the Anatomy Connected 2024 conference in Toronto, comes with a $2,000 honorarium and $1,500 in paid travel expenses.

Christa Baker
Christa Baker

Baker is a systems neuroscientist interested in how brains extract meaningful information from sensory inputs. Her lab studies how the organization and function of auditory circuits enable recognition of species-specific acoustic communication signals. 

She uses Drosophila fruit flies as her animal model due to the available wealth of genetic tools for circuit manipulation, connectomic resources for circuit mapping, and wide diversity of acoustic communication signals across related species. These traits help facilitate understanding into how auditory recognition systems co-evolve with sound production. 

Baker received her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. She spent seven years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University before joining the NC State faculty in 2023.