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Taylor, Robert L., Jr.

Professor of Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Bob Taylor 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 began his academic career in the Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences at the University of New Hampshire. He rose through the faculty ranks and served for 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 117 publications, 44 technical reports and 125 abstracts.  


Select Publications

  1. 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 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.06.069
  2. 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. https://www.cast-science.org/publication/protecting-food-animal-gene-pools-for-future-generations/
  3. Nuthalapati, N., J. D. Evans, R. L. Taylor, Jr., S. L. Branton, B. Nanduri, and G. T. Pharr. 2019.  Transcriptomic analysis of early B-cell development in the chicken embryo. Poult. Sci. 98:5342-5354 https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pez354
  4. Xu, L., Y. He, Y. Ding, G. E. Liu, H. Zhang, H. H. Cheng, R. L. Taylor, Jr., and J. Song. 2018. Genome-wide assessment of inbred chicken lines indicates genomic signatures of resistance to Marek’s Disease. J. Anim. Sci. Biotech. 9:65-75 doi 10.1186/s40104-018-0281
  5. 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)
  6. 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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