Timothy B. Baker
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Timothy B. Baker has worked for the past 25 years to understand and treat addictive disorders, especially tobacco use. He has developed and evaluated treatments for tobacco use and designed public health policies that foster tobacco control. His work has been critical to the development, evaluation, and dissemination of effective, theory-based treatments for smoking cessation. His research has revealed critical processes that lead to relapse, and his theorizing has informed current conceptualizations of addiction. Moreover, Baker has mentored some of today’s leading addiction researchers.
Baker concentrates on two major goals: The first is to elucidate the motivational bases of addiction. His two-factor model of urges and his recent, reformulated negative reinforcement model have inspired considerable research and theory on the affective and cognitive bases of addiction. His research has illuminated the central roles of affective processing and withdrawal in drug motivation and in the mediation of treatment effects. His work has also led to advances in the assessment and conceptualization of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome and tobacco dependence.
His second goal is to identify effective tobacco use interventions and promote their dissemination. Baker’s work was instrumental in demonstrating the efficacy of government-approved pharmacotherapies and various counseling interventions. He has fostered the widespread dissemination of tobacco interventions via his work on the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, and through his research in the primary care setting.
Baker is the model applied scientist: a researcher who employs sophisticated research to address and ameliorate a critical public health problem while mentoring the next generation of scholars and serving as an outstanding public health advocate.