The Taylor lab is focused on unlocking the potential of B cells to protect against infection, cancer, and other diseases where these cells could benefit human health.
Early work in the Taylor lab was focused on using sensitive approaches to carefully identify and analyze B cells specific for antigens of interest. Using these approaches, we aim to inform vaccine design by gaining a deeper understanding about the mechanisms limiting the generation of a protective B cell response. Ongoing projects analyze B cells specific for model antigens, HIV, T. Pallidum, Plasmodium, and several common respiratory viruses. More recently, these approaches are being used to assess B cells specific for tumor antigens in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma in order to determine the role these cells play in tumor control.
In parallel, the Taylor lab has also developed a rapid and efficient genetic engineering approach to replace antibodies expressed by B cells naturally with protective or therapeutic antibodies. This approach aims to provide an alternative to vaccination for situations where ideal antibodies have been difficult to stimulate, or situations where high antibody levels are required long-term to maintain efficacy. Ongoing work is focused upon developing these approaches for both experimental and clinical use.