Dr. Kishana Taylor is a postdoctoral researcher of virology at Carnegie Mellon University and the co-founder and president of the Black Microbiologists Association. Her current work looks at the role of two types of white blood cells — monocytes and macrophages — in the development of severe COVID-19. Previously, she researched how influenza changes through reassortment, in which the genetic material of viruses mix. Reassortment between mammalian and avian influenza viruses gave rise to the pandemics of 1957, 1968 and 2009.
Her research interests also include how viruses evolve, especially those transmitted by insects, and how viruses interact with their hosts and vectors. She advocates for studying emerging infectious disease and pandemic preparedness through the lens of social justice and racial equity.
Taylor has an interdisciplinary biomedical sciences Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, with a focus on disease ecology. She also holds a master’s in public health microbiology and emerging infectious disease.
Virologist, Carnegie Mellon University
Expertise Fields: Virology, COVID-19, influenza, public health microbiology, virus reassortment, virus mutation, insect-borne disease
Based in: Teaneck, NJ and Pittsburgh, PA
Added February 2021.