Link: University of Iowa

Department announces hiring of Dr. Eric Taylor

The Department of Biochemistry, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) and the Obesity Initiative (OI) are pleased to announce the 1st faculty hire from the diabetes and obesity search initiated in September 2011. Dr. Taylor is a 2005 PhD from Brigham Young in Physiology and Developmental Biology, who published 7 papers as a graduate student (4 first author) on the regulation of Lkb1 and AMP-activated protein kinase signaling by small molecules and exercise.

Dr. Taylor did a two year post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Laurie Goodyear at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School where he published 7 papers (2 first author). In Dr. Goodyear’s laboratory, he was funded by an individual NIH post-doctoral fellowship to identify molecular mechanisms by which the Rab GAPs AS160 and TBC1D1 regulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. This work was recognized by a national award in the post-doctoral section of the American Physiology Society.

In 2007, Dr. Taylor moved to Dr. Jared Rutter’s laboratory at the University of Utah, where he has truly excelled in two projects to discover the function of uncharacterized, highly conserved mitochondrial proteins. First, he helped identify a system for mitochondrial protein quality control, which has produced three units of funding for him including an NIH K99-R00 Pathway to Independence Award. Second, using systems from yeast to human patient samples, he helped discover the identity of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier, a finding which has implications for multiple human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes. Dr. Taylor is a co-first author of the manuscript detailing this discovery, which is in press in Science.

Dr. Taylor will open his laboratory at the University of Iowa on July 1 with a focus on mitochondrial protein quality control and the pyruvate transporter as they relate to obesity and diabetes. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Taylor to the Department of Biochemistry.

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