Professor Robert Taylor, BSc PhD FRCPath

Professor of Mitochondrial Pathology

Following a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry and an introduction to mitochondrial bioenergetics by Dr Stan Sherratt, I undertook graduate training in the Departments of Clinical Neuroscience and Child Health under the supervision of Professor Doug Turnbull and Professor Kim Bartlett, obtaining my PhD in 1994. After seven years of post-doctoral positions in the Departments of Medicine and Neurology (funded by the Wellcome Trust) at Newcastle University, I was appointed to a Lectureship in 2001, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005. In 2007, I was appointed to a Chair in Mitochondrial Pathology, Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, leading the National-Commissioned Highly Specialised NHS Mitochondrial Diagnostic laboratory.

I began my research by studying the biochemical and molecular genetic basis of mitochondrial respiratory chain and fatty acid oxidation disorders, with a particular emphasis on understanding the control of oxidative phosphorylation on fatty acid β-oxidation flux. Following periods of post-doctoral research focussed on investigating the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in diabetes and the development of experimental gene therapy strategies for the treatment of heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA disorders, I developed a programme of work embedded within a multidisciplinary,NHS Mitochondrial Diagnostic laboratory to both identify and characterise novel mitochondrial and nuclear genetic defects causing Mitochondrial Disease and dissect the molecular mechanisms leading to cellular dysfunction.