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Full NameProfessor Cormac Taylor
Department:School of Medicine
Organisation:University College Dublin
- infectious disease and the immune system
- physiology and non-communicable disease
Postgrad Medical Specialties
- Emergency Medicine
- Geriatric Medicine
- Infectious diseases
- Respiratory Medicine
- Vascular Medicine
Professor Cormac Taylor Ph.D. currently holds an appointment as Professor of Cellular Physiology at the School of Medicine and Medical Science and the Conway Institute, University College Dublin. In 2001, Professor Taylor returned to Ireland after a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, a move supported by a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship. Since then, his lab has been funded by Science Foundation Ireland with additional support from the Health Research Board of Ireland, the European Union and the Irish Research Council. Professor Taylor was recently lead-organizer of a 2015 Keystone symposium held in Dublin entitled “Hypoxia: from basic mechanisms to therapeutics”. Professor Taylor was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy (Ireland’s highest academic honor). He was also recently awarded the 2014 Nature mid-career mentorship award and the Takeda Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Physiological Society, GI and Liver section.
Current research is directed towards expanding our understanding of the mechanisms by which hypoxia regulates transcriptional events in epithelial cells. Specifically, we are interested in the regulation of global gene expression in response to hypoxia and the modification of transcriptional regulators which underlies the induction of such events. We are also focussed on translating our understanding of hypoxia-sensitive pathways to developing new therapeutics in chronic inflammatory disease with a focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The development of antimicrobial resistance by opportunistic bacterial pathogens poses a serious threat to global health. In order to identify new anti-infective therapeutics, we must first develop our understanding of the factors determining the course of clinical infection. Microenvironmental oxygen levels have recently been found to play a key role in regulating the host immune response to infection. Furthermore, we have recently generated preliminary data demonstrating that hypoxia regulates the virulence of the prominent opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that tissue hypoxia may be a key determinant of the course of infection through the regulation of both host immunity and pathogen virulence and that the pathways involved represent new therapeutic targets in infectious disease.
In this proposal we will comprehensively characterize the effect of hypoxia on the virulence of P. aeruginosa using state of the art transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomics approaches. Next, we will determine how hypoxia impacts the clinical course of infection. Finally, we will determine whether hypoxia-sensitive pathways represent new therapeutic targets in infectious disease. The successful completion of this work, which will be carried out with clinical and industrial collaborators, will identify and test a new approach to anti-microbial therapeutics for the post-antibiotic era.