The Passing of Dr. Alfred L. Baker, a Giant in the Field of Hepatology

May 25, 2022

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is deeply saddened to learn that the liver community has lost a giant in the field of hepatology, Dr. Alfred L. Baker.

During his tenure as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Liver Study Unit at the University of Chicago, Dr. Baker helped develop the first Liver Transplant program in the Midwest – a program that is now one of the largest liver transplant programs in the world. The program also became first in the country to perform a pediatric living donor transplant on a patient with acute liver failure.

ALF’s medical community remembers Dr. Baker fondly…

Dr. Michael Charlton, “…the impact of this titan of hepatology on the University of Chicago and the field have and will endure.”

Dr. Josh Levitsky, “He had a way of making complex clinical situations understandable – he was a mentor for so many of us. When I interviewed at Nebraska for my liver transplant fellowship, Dr. Mike Sorrell said, “Al Baker recommends you – you must be good.” I’ll never forget that endorsement which sent me on this path.”

Dr. David Rubin, “…those of us privileged to train under him or work with him, witnessed a truly skilled clinician with an incredible ability to distill complex patients into a focused diagnosis with a plan of care.”

Dr. Rockford (Rocky) Yapp, “Every interaction I shared with Dr. Baker his intelligence, kindness and wisdom came shining through with that warm, calming southern accent.”

In 2000, Dr. Baker transitioned to Northwestern University where he helped expand their hepatology and liver transplant programs. He also helped develop new therapies to treat liver disease and suppress the immune reaction post-transplant – a game-changer for transplant recipients. He retired in 2005 but remained as emeritus professor at Northwestern University. His career was celebrated by ALF in 2005 when he received our Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Baker’s legacy will live on in the hundreds of physicians who learned from him and the thousands of patients who benefited from his expertise and lifetime of care, innovation and persistence. We are grateful to Dr. Baker for his immense contribution to ALF and the liver community. He will be sadly missed but his legacy will live on.

Last updated on August 8th, 2022 at 03:20 pm

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