The Taylor Fellowship aids recruitment and retention of outstanding graduate students and can provide dissertation support. Graduate students conducting research in virology receive first preference. Undergraduate microbiology majors, who preferably are performing research in virology, may also apply for scholarships from this fund and receive second preference. The endowed fellowship was created in 2000 by alumnus Lawrence Blatt to honor his former teacher and mentor, Professor Milton W. Taylor.
About Milton Taylor
Milton W. Taylor joined the IU faculty in 1967, teaching molecular biology and performing research. He worked in the areas of somatic cell genetics, viral replication, and the effects of interferon on viral replication and the immune system. While at IU, Taylor received uninterrupted funding from the NIH and grants from the American Cancer Society, the Damon Runyon Foundation, and industrial groups such as InterMune, Amgen, Schering Plough, and Eli Lilly. He most recently ran one of four ancillary labs selected to participate in a clinical trial funded by NIH to investigate the effects of interferon on hepatitis C patients. Taylor is a fellow of the American Society for Microbiology (an honor reserved for particularly accomplished microbiologists), a fellow of the Indiana Molecular Biology Institute, and a former office holder in the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research.
About Lawrence Blatt
Lawrence M. Blatt, Ph.D.—a pioneering virologist and biopharma entrepreneur—studied under Taylor as an undergraduate, earning his B.S. in microbiology in 1983. He began collaborating with Taylor on scientific projects in the early 1990s. Together they researched the synergistic effects of interferon on virus replication and the study of gene expression using microarray technology. Blatt has cofounded two biopharmaceutical companies and in 2018 became the CEO of the second one: Aligos Therapeutics, a San Francisco-based biotech discovering and developing curative treatments for hepatologic diseases and viral infections. In addition to the Milton Taylor Fellowship in Virology, Blatt's generosity has benefitted Indiana University and its students in a variety of ways, including the creation and support of our department's endowed Lawrence M. Blatt Chair of Virology.
2021 Taylor Fellow: Jin Dai
Jin Dai is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor John Patton's laboratory. He studies the immune response that protects infants and young children from rotavirus infection. After completion of his graduate studies, Jin plans to continue performing research in infectious disease and the development of antiviral treatments.
2021 Taylor Fellow: Christine Kim
Christine Kim is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Adam Zlotnick's lab. She recently completed a project studying how antivirals affect Hepatitis B virus (HBV) capsid’s ability to interact with host importin β. She is currently working on projects studying HBV capsid-surface antigen interactions and developing probes for nucleic acid-filled capsids. Christine plans to pursue a career in industry or government, researching viruses or other disease-causing agents.