Susan S. Taylor, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor Pharmacology
Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego

B.A. (1964) – University of Wisconsin, Madison (Chemistry)
Ph.D. (1968) – The Johns Hopkins University (Physiological Chemistry)
Postdoctoral Fellow (1969) – Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Postdoctoral Fellow (1971) – University of California, San Diego, (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)


Susan Serota Taylor, Ph.D., a protein chemist, and structural biologist, received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University with Edward Heath. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, working with B.S. Hartley. She then returned to the U.S. and carried out an additional year of postdoctoral studies with N.O. Kaplan at the University of California, San Diego, where she has remained ever since. Rising from the rank of Assistant Professor in Residence in the Chemistry Department to full Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry (1985) and Professor of Pharmacology in (2004), her research led to solving the crystal structure of the first protein kinase in 1991, providing a template for this entire family of essential regulatory enzymes. Understanding the molecular basis for function, visualizing this one protein kinase and its structure, function, and dynamics, and translating that information to other related protein kinases continues to provide an ideal interdisciplinary system for coupling technological advances in computation and biophysics with exciting biological questions. 

Dr. Taylor is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1996), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994), National Academy of Medicine (1997), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1993), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008). She won the Gavin Olin Medal from the American Chemical Society (2001), the FASEB Excellence in Science Award (2009), the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Sciences (2009), the Centennial Medal from the Biochemical Society (2014), the ASBMB Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award (2017) and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1997-2014). She has published over 400 articles. Her research has been funded by NIH, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Michael J. Fox Foundation, and NSF. She is a past president of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and served or is still serving on the Board of Counselors for the National Cancer Institute, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIDDK, GM Council for NIH and NICHD.