Brandie DePaoli Taylor received both her MPH (EPI ’07) and PhD (EPI ’11) from Pitt Public Health. She completed postdoctoral training in perinatal epidemiology before joining Texas A&M University (TAMU) as an assistant professor in 2014. Currently, Taylor is an associate professor and the graduate program director at Temple University College of Public Health. She has a productive research program, which focuses on infectious agents and immunological biomarkers that indicate women who will develop pregnancy complications including preeclampsia and preterm birth. She also works on community-based projects addressing gender and racial/ethnic syndemic risk factors for sexually transmitted infections in young adults.
Taylor has continually built her research program since 2014 and has received two NIH/NIAID R01s, a NIH/NIAID R21 and a HRSA R40 as principal investigator. Brandie has also received several foundation grants including the 2014 Developmental Award from the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association. Her work is multidisciplinary, having collaborated as co-investigator on NIH-funded projects which are mechanistic in nature.
"Like anyone in academia, I wear a lot of hats with my job between teaching, research and administrative duties but I still get excited about writing papers and publishing my research. I have always enjoyed the writing process and without hesitation that is my favorite part of the job. The only thing that is better is when I have a mentee that successfully publishes their work," says Taylor.
Taylor's research combines epidemiologic investigation with biological insight leading to scientific contributions that are cross-cutting and informative to several disciplines. On the other hand, she has conducted classic public health work such as the identification of co-occurring risks for STIs in young men and women, which can be used for intervention development. Her current funded work is developing innovative approaches to distinguish different pathways that lead to severe preeclampsia, a cause of maternal mortality. To date, she has contributed to over 40 publications in the field, with majority being first or senior authored.
In addition to research, Taylor is highly involved in teaching, mentoring, and service within the public health field. With less than 10 years since she received her PhD, she has held leadership positions at TAMU and Temple University. While at TAMU, she directed the Program on Reproductive and Child Health and obtained a HRSA T76 grant to create a MCH Public Health Training Program that provided didactic training, practicum experiences and scholarships to public health students. Upon her departure from TAMU, the program served 11 master and doctoral students and included 16 faculty members. She also developed a 12-credit maternal and child health certificate. As graduate program director, Taylor oversees the daily operations of six graduate programs at Temple University and is dedicated to curriculum development and student training.
Of her time in graduate school, Taylor says, "Pitt Public Health influenced me in several ways. When I started my MPH, my advisor Dr. Catherine Haggerty inspired me to focus on women’s reproductive health. She later became my doctoral advisor and continued to influence my career path into academia. Her mentorship was key to getting my first faculty position. We are now collaborators and I am grateful that Pitt Public Health provided me with mentorship that shaped my career and allowed me to be successful. In general, the faculty in public health are excellent teachers and researchers. Being in that environment influenced me to work hard and focus on becoming an independent researcher."
In her nomination letter for this award, Haggerty said that she considers Taylor to be one of the most outstanding mentees of her nearly 20-year career and says, "She is a prime representation of early career excellence."