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J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD
J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD

J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Chair, Cell & Molecular Biology Department
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Edward F. Barry Endowed Chair in Cell and Molecular Biology



MD, PhD – Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Residency (Neurology) – Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship (Neurogenetics) – Neurogenetics Branch, NINDS/NIH

Honors & Awards

  • 2020 The Potamkin Prize 
  • 2015 Selected as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • 2015 Presidential Lecture of the American Neurological Association
  • 2015 Elected to the American Association of Physicians
  • 2015 Lisa S. Krivickas Lecture, Massachusetts General Hospital Neurology
  • 2014 George Karpati Lecture, Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University
  • 2014 Vince Kidd Memorial Mentor of the Year Award
  • 2013 Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award, American Neurological Association
  • 2013 Elected Fellow of the American Neurological Association
  • 2010 Elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation

Research Interests

The principal goal of our research is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with neurological disease. Toward this end we:

  • Use in vitro and in vivo modeling to elucidate the molecular basis of neuronal dysfunction and neuronal loss in neurological diseases
  • Use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to apply the power of genetics to illuminate the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration
  • Investigate the molecular genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, inclusion body myopathy and polyglutamine disease
  • Screen small molecules to identify compounds that can be translated to clinical use

Selected Publications

Taylor JP, Brown RH Jr, Cleveland DW. Decoding ALS: from genes to mechanism. Nature 539(7628):197-206, 2016.

Lee KH, Zhang P, Kim HJ, Mitrea DM, Sarkar M, Freibaum BD, Cika J, Coughlin M, Messing J, Molliex A, Maxwell BA, Kim NC, Temirov J, Moore J, Kolaitis RM, Shaw TI, Bai B, Peng J, Kriwacki RW, Taylor JP. C9orf72 dipeptide repeats impair the assembly, dynamics and function of membrane-less organelles. Cell 167(3):774-788, 2016.

Molliex A, Temirov J, Lee J, Coughlin M, Kanagaraj AP, Kim HJ, Mittag T, Taylor JP. Phase separation by low-complexity domains contributes to stress granule assembly and drives pathological fibrillization. Cell 163(1):123-33, 2015.

Freibaum BD, Lu Y, Lopez-Gonzalez R, Kim NC, Almeida S, Lee KH, Badders N, Valentine M, Miller BL, Wong PC, Petrucelli L, Kim HJ, Gao FB, Taylor JP. GGGGCC repeat expansion in C9ORF72 compromises nucleocytoplasmic transport. Nature 525(7567):129-33, 2015.

Alami NH, Smith RB, Carrasco MA, Williams LA, Winborn CS, Han SSW, Kiskinis E, Winborn B, Freibaum BD, Kanagaraj A, Clare AJ, Badders NM, Bilican B, Chaum E, Chandran S, Eggan KC, Maniatis T, Taylor JP. Microtubule-dependent transport of TDP-43 mRNA granules in neurons is impaired by ALS-causing mutations. Neuron 81(3):536-543, 2014.

Taylor JP. G-quadruplex poses a quadruple threat. Nature 507(7491):175-7, 2014.

Taylor JP. RNA Gets RAN in Neurodegeneration Science 339:1282-1283, 2013.

Buchan JR, Kolaitis R, Taylor JP, Parker R. Eukaryotic stress granules are cleared by autophagy and Cdc48/VCP function. Cell 153(7):1461-74, 2013.

Ramaswami M, Taylor JP, Parker R. Altered ribostasis: RNA-protein granules in degenerative disorders. Cell 154(4):727-36, 2013.

Kim HJ, Kim NC, Wang M, Moore J, Diaz Z, Freibaum B, Molliex A, Kanagaraj A, Li S, Pinkus JL, Greenberg SA, Trojanowski J, Traynor BJ, Smith BN, Topp S, Gkazi AS, Miller J, Shaw CE, Wojtas AM, Boylan KB, Rademakers R, Kottlors M, Kirschner J, Li YR, Gitler AD, Benatar M, King OD, Kimonis V, Ross ED, Weihl CC, Shorter J and Taylor JP. Mutations in the prion-like domains of hnRNPA2B1 and hnRNPA1 cause multisystem proteinopathy and ALS. Nature 28;495(7442):467-73, 2013.

Kim NC, Tresse E, Kolaitis RM, Molliex A, Thomas R, Alami N, Wang B, Joshi A, Smith RB, Ritson GP, Winborn BJ, Lee JY, Yao TP, Pallanck L, Kundu M, Taylor JP. VCP is essential for mitochondrial quality control by the PINK1/Parkin pathway and this function is impaired by disease-causing mutations. Neuron 78(1):65-80, 2013.

Nedelsky NB, Pennuto M, Smith RB, Palazzolo I, Nie Z, Moore J, Neale G, Taylor JP. Native coregulator interactions are essential mediators of toxicity in a Drosophila model of spinobulbar muscular atrophy. Neuron 67(6):897-899, 2010.

La Spada AR, Taylor JP. Repeat expansion disease: progress and puzzles in disease pathogenesis. Nature Reviews Genetics 11(4):247-258, 2010.

Pandey UB, Nie ZP, Batlevi Y, McCray BA, Ritson GP, Nedelsky NB, Schwartz SL, DiProspero N, Knight M, Schuldiner, O, Padmanabhan R, Hild M, Berry D, Garza D, Hubbert CC, Yao TP, Baehrecke EH, Taylor JP. HDAC6 rescues neurodegeneration and provides an essential link between autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Nature 447:859-863, 2007.

La Spada AR, Taylor JP. Polyglutamines placed into context. Neuron 38: 681-684, 2003.

Taylor JP, Hardy J, Fischbeck KH. Toxic proteins in neurodegenerative disease. Science 296(5575):1991-1995, 2002.

Last update: November 2016