University of Kentucky

Hall of Distinguished Alumni

John D. Baxter

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 11, 1940. Physician, Scientist. University of Kentucky, cum laude, B.A. 1962.

He also graduated cum laude from Yale Medical School. He interned in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, and was assistant resident there. He was a research associate at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, with Dr. Gordon Tomkins, who became his mentor. He then was a Dernhain Senior Fellow in Oncology, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, also with Dr. Tomkins.

He was Director of the Endocrine Research Division at the University of California San Francisco, from 1976 to 1981 and has since been the Director of the Metabolic Research Unit there, the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Moffitt Hospital and a Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Biophysics. He and his colleagues have been instrumental in the utilization of genetic engineering techniques for scientific inquiry and medical applications. He has made a number of fundamental observations about the mechanisms of hormone action and the structure of genes. He and his collaborators were among the first to use genetic engineering techniques to produce medically-important proteins, were the first to produce animal and human growth hormone by recombinant DNA techniques and were the first to clone several other genes and to produce several other substances as well.

In 1978, he was the recipient of the First Annual Research Award presented by the Hughes Medical Institute for the most outstanding scientist of the year from among 75 scientists at 12 medical centers funded by the Institute.

He also received the Honorable Mention Award from the American Medical Writers Association for excellence in medical publications and The American Society for Clinical Investigation "Citation for Distinguished Service" (1983).

He is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific publications and has served as the editor of the journal DNA and on the editorial boards of seven other medical and scientific journals.

John D. Baxter was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 11, 1980.