Gwen Taylor, Ph.D.

  • Research Instructor

Gwen Taylor joined the Division of Infectious Diseases as research instructor and laboratory manager in the Dermody lab in May 2016. As a senior member of the laboratory, she serves as team lead for all reovirus research projects.

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • American Society of Virology

Education & Training

  • Ph.D.: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Purdue University
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Research Interests

Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on reovirus pathogenesis. Mammalian reoviruses are neurotropic viruses that are highly virulent in young mammals. Like other neurotropic viruses, reovirus causes apoptosis in the murine central nervous system, leading to fatal encephalitis. Several neurotropic viruses, including reovirus, enterovirus type 71, and herpes simplex virus type 1, activate the transcription factor NF-kB. The overall focus of Dr. Taylor’s research is to elucidate the process of NF-kB-dependent apoptosis by reovirus in the central nervous system, to identify the contribution of cell type–specific NF-kB signaling to reovirus neural pathogenesis, and to define factors under NF-kB control that mediate apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system. Ultimately, this research enhances the understanding of pathogen-host interactions and may lead to the development of broadly applicable therapeutics for neurotropic virus infections.

Dr. Taylor mentors two graduate students, Pamela Brigleb and Christopher Lee, two post-doctoral associates, Pavithra Aravamudhan and Danica Sutherland, and a research assistant, Kelly Urbanek. As reovirus team leader, Dr. Taylor provides experimental guidance on all other reovirus projects including:

  • Defining functions of reovirus nonstructural protein sNS
  • Elucidating pathways used by reovirus to exit infected cells
  • Defining the contribution of glycan engagement to reovirus neurologic disease
  • Determine the post-attachment functions and associated conformational changes of the reovirus s1 attachment protein.
  • Elucidate the mechanism of reovirus assortment
  • Determine the viral factors involved in celiac disease