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Maria Baker, PhD, MS, LGC

Maria Baker, PhD, MS, LGC

Professor, Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Disease Teams:
Cancer Institute, Survivorship Team

Research Interests

Dr. Maria Baker’s research interests involve the study of hereditary cancer syndromes affecting both the adult and pediatric population, as well as the ethical, legal and social implications surrounding cancer predisposition testing.

In 1998, Dr. Baker developed the Penn State Health Cancer Genetics Program. She provides genetic counseling and testing services to individuals who are concerned about a personal and/or family history of cancer and offers various strategies to manage one’s risk for cancer including enhanced surveillance, positive lifestyle changes, chemoprevention, as well as the option of prophylactic surgery. Most recently, in 2016, Dr. Baker received support from the Four Diamonds fund to develop a Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program at Penn State Health.

Dr. Baker helped facilitate the successful passage of licensure of genetic counselors in Pennsylvania in 2011. She is currently working on the federal level, along with her professional colleagues, to secure recognition of genetic counselors by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as health care providers. In 2013, she served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Penn State Hershey Commission for Women, which represents the interests of more than 7,000 women on the Penn State Health campus. She also served as co-chair of the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) at the College of Medicine from 2016 through 2018 to advance the successful participation and inclusion of women in academic medicine.

  • Genetic Counseling
  • Neoplasms
  • Genetic Testing
  • Counselors
  • Mutation
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Genes
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Counseling
  • Patient Care
  • Guidelines
  • Software

Recent Publications


Wadman, E, Conway, L, Garbarini, J & Baker, M 2022, 'Moral distress in genetic counseling: A study of North American genetic counselors', Journal of Genetic Counseling, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 836-846.
Budurlean, L, Baker, M & Broach, J 2022, 'Rare MYC-N11S germline mutation indicative of inherited breast cancer in a multigeneration family', BMJ case reports, vol. 15, no. 11, e251336.


Gvozdjan, K, Casey, H, Mowery, C, Kumer, L, Fisher, C, Tyler, J, Bayerl, MG, Malysz, J, Naik, S, Rybka, W, Ehmann, C, Claxton, D, Mineishi, S, Baker, M, Hong, Z & Shike, H 2021, 'Unexpected Short-Tandem-Repeat Patterns in Post-Transplant Chimerism Testing: Investigation of 3 Cases with Help from Forensic Science', Laboratory Medicine, vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 635-641.