headshot of Donald Taylor

Donald Taylor

Associate Professor
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Commercial Translation in the Health Sciences
Bioengineering Department


My research interests include chronic wound healing. We’re investigating the unique properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) embedded within a two part polyethylene glycol and dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine polymer infused with covalently tethered matrikines that will support defined MSC survival and engraftment efficiency before the therapeutic MSCs expire. This biocompatible and biodegradable wound gel thus serves as a cell-based therapy and delivery device enabling wound healing where other interventions fail to stem infection risk, initiate angiogenesis, and/or recruit stromal support cells to fully resolve the wound healing process. I believe that our proposed cell-based polymeric wound gel with a functional biomaterial-based niche for cell delivery and antimicrobial properties will revolutionize therapeutic approaches, save lives, improve quality of life and reduce high costs associated with treating chronic and traumatic wounds. I am also focused on a hybrid academic & translational CEO career whereby I will leverage my global life sciences commercial experience with my research training in order to: 1) advance the most promising university technologies to commercialization, 2) establish academic/industry partnerships, and 3) help train the next generation of world-class translational development scientific entrepreneurs.


BS, Information and Decision Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, 1990 - 1998

MS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2003 - 2006

MBA Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh, 2003 - 2006

PhD Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2010 - 2013

Yates, C.C., Nuschke, A., Rodrigues, M., Whaley, D., Dechant, J.J., Taylor, D.P., & Wells, A. (2017). Improved Transplanted Stem Cell Survival in a Polymer Gel Supplemented With Tenascin C Accelerates Healing and Reduces Scarring of Murine Skin Wounds. CELL TRANSPLANTATION, 26(1), 103-113.SAGE Publications. doi: 10.3727/096368916X692249.

Clark, A.M., Wheeler, S.E., Taylor, D.P., Young, C.L., Pillai, V.C., Stolz, D.B., Venkataramanan, R., Lauffenburger, D.A., Griffith, L.G., & Wells, A. (2015). Modeling breast cancer dormancy and re-emergence. CANCER RESEARCH, 75(9_Supplement).American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.SABCS14-P1-07-01.

Clark, A.M., Wheeler, S.E., Taylor, D.P., Pillai, V.C., Young, C.L., Prantil-Baun, R., Nguyen, T., Stolz, D.B., Borenstein, J.T., Lauffenburger, D.A., Venkataramanan, R., Griffith, L.G., & Wells, A. (2014). A microphysiological system model of therapy for liver micrometastases. EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, 239(9), 1170-1179.Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.1177/1535370214532596.

Taylor, D.P., Clark, A., Wheeler, S., & Wells, A. (2014). Hepatic nonparenchymal cells drive metastatic breast cancer outgrowth and partial epithelial to mesenchymal transition. BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT, 144(3), 551-560.Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-2875-0.

Wheeler, S.E., Clark, A.M., Taylor, D.P., Young, C.L., Pillai, V.C., Stolz, D.B., Venkataramanan, R., Lauffenburger, D., Griffith, L., & Wells, A. (2014). Spontaneous dormancy of metastatic breast cancer cells in an all human liver microphysiologic system. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CANCER, 111(12), 2342-2350.Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.533.

Taylor, D.P., & Wells, A. (2013). Liver nonparenchymal cells drive metastatic breast cancer survival but fail to initiate mesenchymal to epithelial reversion. CANCER RESEARCH, 73(3_Supplement), C93.American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.TIM2013-C93.

Taylor, D.P., Wells, J.Z., Savol, A., Chennubhotla, C., & Wells, A. (2013). Modeling Boundary Conditions for Balanced Proliferation in Metastatic Latency. CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH, 19(5), 1063-1070.American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3180.

Wells, A., Griffith, L., Wells, J.Z., & Taylor, D.P. (2013). The Dormancy Dilemma: Quiescence versus Balanced Proliferation. CANCER RESEARCH, 73(13), 3811-3816.American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-0356.

Wheeler, S.E., Borenstein, J.T., Clark, A.M., Ebrahimkhani, M., Fox, I.J., Griffith, L., Inman, W., Lauffenburger, D., Nguyen, T., Pillai, V.C., Prantil-Baun, R., Stolz, D.B., Taylor, D., Ulrich, T., Venkataramanan, R., Wells, A., & Young, C. (2013). All-human microphysical model of metastasis therapy. STEM CELL RESEARCH & THERAPY, 4(Suppl 1), S11.Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1186/scrt372.

Taylor, D.P., & Wells, A. (2012). Breast cancer in the metastatic niche: A role for stress-induced dormancy. CANCER RESEARCH, 72(8_Supplement), 5240.American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-5240.

Martin, D.C., Taylor, D.P., & Kearns, L. (1997). An information infrastructure for long-term care. Top Health Inf Manage, 18(1), 10-22.