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Taylor, Robert L., Jr.

Professor of Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Robert L. Taylor, Jr. completed his B.A. and M.S. degrees from Carson-Newman College and Auburn University, respectively.  His Ph. D. studies were directed by Bruce Glick at Mississippi State University.  He rose through the faculty ranks in the University of New Hampshire Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences where he spent thirty years.  Bob joined West Virginia University as Division Director and Professor of Animal and Nutritional Sciences where he served from 2014 to 2018.  He is currently Professor of Immunology and Immunogenetics. Bob is a Fellow of the Poultry Science Association (PSA) as well as the current Editor-in-Chief for Poultry Science. He is a Life Member of the Virginia Chapter of 4-H All Stars.

The multistate research project “Genetic Bases for Resistance and Immunity to Avian Diseases” is the foundation for studies on genes that affect immune responses.  Chicken alloantigens including the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are the specific focus. Bob and his collaborators seek to identify these alloantigen gene(s) and proteins. In addition, he developed specialized chicken lines that revealed genetic effects on tumor growth and metastasis caused by Marek’s disease virus, Rous sarcoma virus or v-src DNA. He also collaborated to demonstrate autosomal recessive inheritance of susceptibility to pigeon spontaneous atherosclerosis. His research has produced 123 publications, 45 technical reports and 126 abstracts.  


  1. Zhang, J., R. M. Goto, C. F. Honaker, P. B. Siegel, R. L. Taylor, Jr., H. K. Parmentier, and M. M. Miller. 2022.  Association of MHCY genotypes in lines of chickens divergently selected for high or low antibody response to sheep red blood cells. resubmit Poult. Sci. 101:101621
  2. Zhang, J., R. M. Goto, A. Psifidi, M. P. Stevens, R. L. Taylor, Jr., and M. M. Miller. 2022. Research Note: MHCY haplotype and Campylobacter jejuni colonization in a (Line N x Line 61) x Line N backcross population.  Poult. Sci. 101:101654
  3. Nuthalapati, N., T. A. Burks, R. L. Taylor, Jr., P. B. Siegel, and G. T. Pharr. 2021. Protein tyrosine kinase gene expression profiles in the embryonic bursa of Fabricius of chicken lines selected for high and low antibody responses. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 20:173-178 
  4. Taylor, R. L., Jr. 2021.  The 100 most cited papers from Poultry Science’s centennial. Poult. Sci. 100:101256
  5. Wilkinson, N. G., R. T. Kopulos, L. M. Yates, W. E. Briles, and R. L. Taylor, Jr. 2021.  Research Note: Rous sarcoma growth differs among congenic lines containing major histocompatibility (B) complex recombinants.  Poult. Sci. 100:101335
  6. Wilkinson, N. G., R. T. Kopulos, L. M. Yates, W. E. Briles, and R. L. Taylor, Jr. 2020.  Major histocompatibility (B) complex recombinant R13 antibody response against bovine red blood cells. Poult. Sci. 99:4804-4808 
  7. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) [Long., J. H. Blackburn, A. Martin, F. Silversides, R. L. Taylor, Jr. and C. Youngs].  2019. Protecting food animal gene pools for future generations—A paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Issue Paper 65. CAST, Ames, Iowa.
  8. Miller, M. M., and R. L. Taylor, Jr. 2016.  Brief review of the chicken major histocompatibility complex – the genes, their distribution on chromosome 16 and their contribution to disease resistance. Poult. Sci. 95:375-392 doi:10.3382/ps/pev379 (review)
  9. Taylor, R. L., Jr., Z. Medarova, and W. E. Briles. 2016.  Immune effects of chicken non-Mhc alloantigens. Poult. Sci. 95:447-457 doi:10.3382/ps/pev331 (review)
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