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CRS Scientist Spotlight on Dr. Roslyn Taylor

CRS is truly a community. It feels like other members truly care about you and your success. ”

Dr. Roslyn Taylor, PhD

Dr. Roslyn Taylor, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Thomas Hope's lab. Her research focuses on mother-to-child HIV transmission through breastfeeding and how HIV virions distribute throughout the body after vaginal and rectal exposure and how antibodies affect this distribution and viral-mucosal interactions. Learn more about her work and her time at CRS below.

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What brought you to join the CRS community and what is your current position? 

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in Tom Hope’s lab. My first project was researching mother-to-child HIV transmission, which is a really important topic in reproductive science. CRS also allowed me opportunities for career development, such as being on the Trainee Advisory Board, that I wanted to take advantage of.  

Could you describe your research? 

I have two main projects. The first is looking at mother-to-child HIV transmission through breastfeeding. This is actually the main way that HIV is passed on from mother-to-child. We use nonhuman primate models to examine where the virus distributes after oral challenge and which tissues and cells become infected acutely. The second project is examining how HIV virions distribute throughout the body after vaginal and rectal exposure and how antibodies affect this distribution and viral-mucosal interactions.  

What aspect(s) of CRS do you find most valuable?  

I have found the opportunities for professional development (CRS lunch seminar series, various lectures on professional development, opportunities to take on leadership roles) to be extremely valuable. I think the opportunities with the CRS are greater than some other departments. I also find that CRS is truly a community. It feels like other members truly care about you and your success.  

What has been the most valuable aspect to your training as a reproductive scientist? 

For me, the opportunity to serve on the Trainee Advisory Board opened so many doors. It allowed me to expand my network, serve in a leadership position, and help organize a conference.  

What would you recommend to junior scientists in order for them succeed in their scientific careers? ​  

Believe in yourself. Sounds easy and a given, but for me it hasn’t been. My path hasn’t been linear. Being a woman in science isn’t easy. I have been told numerous times in different stages of my career that I couldn’t do this. I have been told that I am too young, too passionate, too emotional to succeed. However, I know and believe that I can. This keeps me going.  

What do you think will be the next big contribution in the reproductive biology field?  

Because I am an immunologist focusing on mother-to-child health in an infectious disease setting, I’ll speak to that. My hope is that there’s going to be a shift in how breastfeeding is treated in the HIV community. We know that U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable) in sexual HIV transmission, but this isn’t really looked at in mother-to-child transmission. I would love to see science supporting parents living with HIV who want to breastfeed their babies. I want this to become a possibility for them if they want it.  

What hobbies do you have outside of the lab?   

Outside of lab I spend my free time painting, reading, cooking/baking, and exercising. Most of my time outside of lab consists of my partner and I chasing our 1-year-old around the house and playing with him. He just started to learn how to dance, which has been fun.