Kira C Taylor, PhD, MS

Kira TaylorEpidemiology and Population Health
Associate Professor 
Room No. 232, 485 E. Gray St
Phone: 502-852-4063 
Fax: 502-852-3294 
Office Hours By Appointment

 Background Information

B.A., Biology, Rice University

M.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University 
Research focus: human and molecular genetics 

M.A.Ed., Science Education, Wake Forest University

Ph.D., Epidemiology, Emory University

Dissertation research: genetic and environmental influences on reproductive traits.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Epidemiology
Research focus: genetic epidemiology as applied to cardiovascular disease-related traits.

Research Interests

Reproductive Epidemiology

Genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease-related traits

Gene-environment interactions

Examination of genetic influences across populations

Women's health

Science education

Current Projects

In my research I interrogate associations between environmental factors, genetic variants and disease, with particular attention to gene-environment interactions and heterogeneity of genetic effects across populations. By learning how genes, pathways, and proteins interact with their environment and influence disease, we can better understand the underpinnings of the disease process, which will ultimately lead to improved prevention and treatment.

I am currently participating in genome-wide association studies and candidate gene-environment interaction studies as applied to reproductive epidemiology, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis, with a focus on women and on diverse populations.

I am interested in predictors of infertility and subfecundity, have recently conducted a study regarding secondhand smoking and gene-smoking interactions as predictors of ovarian aging and in vitro fertilization success rates.

I am very devoted to teaching and mentoring; my mentees from the Ph.D. and M.S. program are first author on many of the publications listed below. 

Selected Publications

  1. Oladipupo I, Ali T, Hein DW, Pagidas K, Bohler H, Doll MA, Mann ML, Gentry A, Chiang JL, Pierson RC, Torres S, Reece E, Taylor KC.  Association between cigarette smoking and ovarian reserve among women seeking fertility care. PLoS One  2022 17(12): e0278998.
  2. Anwar MY, Baldassari AR, Polikowsky HG, Sitlani CM, Highland HM, Chami N, Chen HH, Graff M, Howard AG, Jung SY, Petty LE, Wang Z, Zhu W, Buyske S, Cheng I, Kaplan R, Kooperberg C, Loos RJF, Peters U, McCormick JB, Fisher-Hoch SP, Avery CL, Taylor KC, Below JE, North KE. Genetic pleiotropy underpinning adiposity and inflammation in self-identified Hispanic/Latino populations.   BMC Med Genomics. 2022 v10;15(1):192. PMID: 36088317
  3. Yaser M, Marcus M, and Taylor KC. Alcohol intake in the luteal window is associated with reduced fecundability. Human Reproduction. 2021. Aug 18;36(9):2538-2548.
  4. Yaser M, Raffield L, Lange L, Correa A, and Taylor KC. Genetic Underpinnings of Local Adiposity Distribution in African Descent Individuals: Polygenic Risk Score Assessments from the Jackson Heart StudyPLoS One. 2021 Aug 4;16(8):e0255609
5.  McGraw KE, Riggs DW, Rai S, Navas-Acien A, Zhengzhi X, Lorkiewicz P, Lynch J, Zafar N, Krishnasamy S, Taylor KC, Conklin DJ, DeFilippis AP, Srivastava S, Bhatnagar A. Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds – Acrolein, 1,3-Butadiene, and Crotonaldehyde – is Associated with Vascular Dysfunction. Environmental Research. Available online 24 February 2021, 110903.

6. Konkle SL, Zierold KM, Taylor KC, Riggs DW, Bhatnagar A. National secular trends in ambient air volatile organic compound levels and biomarkers of exposure in the United States. Environmental Research. 2020 Mar; 182:108991. PMID: 31835113

7. Howards PP, Terrell ML, Jacobson MH, Taylor KC, Kesner JS, Meadows JW, Spencer JB, Manatunga AK, Cameron LL, and Marcus M. Polybrominated Biphenyl Exposure and Menstrual Cycle Function. Epidemiology. 2019 Sep;30(5):687-694. PMID: 31180930 

8.  Akhter S, Marcus M, Kerber RA, Kong M, Taylor KC*. The impact of periconceptional maternal stress on fecundability. Annals of Epidemiology 2016, 26(10): 710-716. PMID: 27623482.

9. Taylor KC*, Evans DS, Velez Edwards DR, Edwards TL, Li G, Liu Y, et al. A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of clinical fracture in 10,012 African American women. Bone Reports, 2016, 5: 233-242. PMID: 28580392.

10. Yoneyama S, Guo Y, Lanktree MB, Barnes MR, Elbers CC, Karczewski KJ, et al, Keating BJ*, Taylor KC*. Gene-centric meta-analyses for central adiposity traits in up to 57 412 individuals of European descent confirm known loci and reveal several novel associations. Hum Mol Genet. 2014;23(9):2498-510. PMID: 24345515 *Joint corresponding authors.

11. Monda KL*, Chen GK*, Taylor KC*, Palmer C*, Edwards TL*, Lange LA, et al. A meta-analysis identifies new loci associated with body mass index in individuals of African ancestry. Nat Genet. 2013;45(6):690-6.  PMID: 23583978 *Co-first authors.

12. Taylor KC, Carty CL, Dumitrescu L, Buzkova P, Cole SA, Hindorff L, et al. Investigation of gene-by-sex interactions for lipid traits in diverse populations from the population architecture using genomics and epidemiology study. BMC Genet. 2013;14:33. PMID: 23634756

13. Liu CT*, Monda KL*, Taylor KC*, Lange L, Demerath EW, Palmas W, et al. Genome-wide association of body fat distribution in African ancestry populations suggests new loci. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(8):e1003681. PMID: 23966867 *Co-first authors.

14. Taylor KC, Small CM, Dominguez CE, Murray LE, Tang W, Wilson MM, et al. Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine in relation to fecundability, with effect modification by NAT2. Ann Epidemiol. 2011;21(11):864-72. PMID: 21684175

15. Taylor KC, Lange LA, Zabaneh D, Lange E, Keating BJ, et al. A gene-centric association scan for Coagulation Factor VII levels in European and African Americans: the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) Consortium. Human Molecular Genetics 2011; 20: 3525-3534.

16. Taylor KC, Small CM, Epstein MP, Terrell ML, Marcus M (2009) Heritability of age at menarche and menstrual cycle length in a population exposed to a brominated flame retardant. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health 2009 2: 383-394.

17. Taylor KC, Jackson LW, Lynch CD, Kostyniak PJ, Buck Louis GM (2007) Preconception maternal polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and the secondary sex ratio. Environmental Research 103: 99-105.

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