Christopher M. Taylor, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology
Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, & Computational Biology Core
Louisiana Biomedical Research Network

533 Bolivar Street, Room 605
New Orleans, LA 70112



Ph.D. in Computer Science
Algorithmic Analysis of Human DNA Replication Timing
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - 2008

M.S. in Computer Science
A Mathematical Model for Knowledge Acquisition
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - 2002

B.S. with Honors in Computer Science and Mathematics
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA - 2000



Dr. Taylor earned his PhD in 2008 from the University of Virginia under the direction of Dr. Anindya Dutta (Harry F. Byrd Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics) and Dr. Gabriel Robins (Professor of Computer Science). For his dissertation, Dr. Taylor developed a method for generating a continuous profile of DNA replication timing from discrete pools of replicated DNA hybridized to genome tiling microarrays. This work also proposed a method for finding origins of replication and discovering regions of the genome where alleles replicate asynchronously. This approach was presented at Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics 2008 in Melbourne, Australia and later published as part of an invited chapter for Methods in Molecular Biology in 2009. During this time, Dr. Taylor was a member of the NIH ENCODE Consortium and a member of the Chromatin, Chromosomes & Replication Analysis group as part of the ENCODE Science publication. He was also the lead analyst for replication and a member of the Integrated Analysis and Manuscript Preparation group for the ENCODE Nature publication.

After his graduate work, Dr. Taylor joined the University of New Orleans as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in 2008. As a new faculty member, Dr. Taylor shifted his focus from microarrays to the emerging technology of high throughput sequencing. He established several collaborations with basic scientists and clinical researchers in the area and developed two major branches of his subsequent research:  Microbial Community Sequencing and RNA Sequencing. This work led to the development of PARSES and RNA CoMPASS, integrated systems for dual RNA-Sequencing analysis along with a software framework for microbial community profiling.

Dr. Taylor joined LSUHSC in December 2012 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology where he currently resides. He is a founding member of the Microbial Genomics Resource Group and has built an informatics laboratory at the School of Medicine focused on microbial community sequencing, analysis, and visualization. He was recently appointed as the Director of the Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Computational Biology Core of the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network. His research laboratory maintains several terabytes of sequence data and designs innovative software systems for visualization and analysis of high-throughput sequencing experiments.


Clinical Interests


Dr. Taylor's lab has a strong interest in the interaction between reproductive tract microbiota and sexually transmitted infections.  We were recently awarded a Multi-PI R01 grant from NIH/NIAID to study the consequences of vaginal microbiota on IFNγ mediated clearance of Chlamydia infections.  This is a collaborative grant with two other PIs Alison Quayle and Ashok Aiyar from the Microbiology department.  We are presently enrolling subjects into this study.  My lab is also very interested in studying the reproductive tract microbiota in women with bacterial vaginosis and its influence on preterm delivery and acquisition of other sexually transmitted infections.



Research Interests

Dr. Taylor’s research lies in the realm of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, specifically related to applications of high throughput sequencing. This research is highly collaborative in nature involving the development of algorithms for analysis and visualization of sequencing data. The human microbiome is a specific application of interest and my lab has been involved with studies of the vaginal, gut, oral, and lung microbiomes. 

Visual and statistical analysis for microbial communities (Viamics)
My group is developing algorithms and tools for analysis of microbial community sequencing data in the context of the human microbiome. This analysis utilizes high-throughput sequencing to assay the composition of the bacteria living within and upon a host organism. Changes in this population have implications in general human health and disease and the analysis of this diverse microbiota presents unique computational challenges.




Teaching Activities

Former Students

Guorong Xu - PhD, June 18, 2012: RNA CoMPASS: RNA Comprehensive Multi-Processor Analysis System for Sequencing
Senior Bioinformatics Engineer at University of California San Diego in San Diego, CA

"Meren" A. Murat Eren - PhD, April 6, 2011: Assessing Microbial Diversity Through Nucleotide Variation
Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

Joseph Coco - MS, April 11, 2011: PARSES: A Pipeline for Analysis of RNA-Sequencing Exogenous Sequences
Health Systems Analyst Programmer at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

"Johnny" Jonathan Brown - BS, May 18, 2012
Informatics Specialist for a biotech company called Counsyl in San Francisco, CA

"Gene" Eugene Blanchard IV - BS, May 17, 2013
DevOps Engineer for Bus Patrol in Salt Lake City, UT



Committees & Administrative Responsibilities

Search Committee for Department Head of Genetics, 2013-2014

School of Medicine Research Advisory Committee, 2013-2015

School of Medicine International Travel Committee, 2014-2018

Basic Science Delegate to Faculty Assembly, 2015-2019

President of Faculty Assembly, 2018-2019

Selected Publications

In The News

In January 2015, Dr. Taylor was selected as the winner of $5,000 of Illumina sequencing reagents in Illumina's MiSeq My Focus contest.  As a part of the Microbial Genomics Resource Group, the lab uses the Illumina MiSeq to explore microbial diversity in the gastrointestinal tract, urogenital tract, airways, and hospital environments.  Differences in bacterial community structure in these environments often correlate with diseases and we aim to advance diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions including sexually transmitted infections, obesity, diabetes and cancer.