Doris A. Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC
Dr. Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D, is the Director of Regenerative Medicine Research at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, in Houston, Texas. Before joining THI, Dr. Taylor, Ph.D. directed the Center for Cardiovascular Repair at the University of Minnesota. She also held an academic appointment as the Medtronic Bakken Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology and of Medicine. Taylor came to the University of Minnesota from Duke University Medical School, where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and in Biomedical Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and did her postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY. Among other research responsibilities, Dr. Taylor is currently on the advisory board to the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Basic Science/Translational Research Council and is on the scientific committee and jury of the Grand Prix Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation at the Institut de France, which awards a half-million euro prize yearly to a scientist with the greatest impact on the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Taylor and her team garnered international recognition for work involving “whole organ decellularization” by showing they were able to remove existing cells from hearts of laboratory animals and even humans leaving a framework to build new organs. They repopulated the framework with other adult stem cells then provided a blood supply, and the heart regenerated with the characteristics and functions of a revitalized beating heart. The hope is that this research is an early step toward being able to grow a fully functional human heart in the laboratory. Dr. Taylor has demonstrated that the process works for other organs as well – opening a door in the field of organ transplantation. It is significant in that the need for transplants continues to grow, while the supply of donor organs remains critically low.
Dr. Taylor is committed to moving cell, gene, and tissue engineering-based therapies safely and effectively from bench to bedside, while at the same time preparing students and fellows to compete at an international level in the field of cardiac and vascular repair and regeneration. Her goal is two-fold: creation of cutting edge therapies for chronic disease and the education of scientists, physician scientists and the community in the “treatments of tomorrow” for these diseases.