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Swanson School honors Dr. Donald Taylor as Distinguished Alumnus in Bioengineering


Above: Donald Taylor (center) with Interim Department Chair Mark Redfern (left) and Interim U.S. Steel Dean Sanjeev Shroff 

The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering feted its 2023 class of Distinguished Alumni on Friday, March 3 at the University Club. Recognized among this year's honorees was Donald P. Taylor MBA, CLP, PhD BioE '13 as the Distinguished Alumnus in Bioengineering. 

Aside from being a brilliant engineer and entrepreneur, Don finds purpose in giving back to the Swanson School in part by mentoring or teaching our students and educating by example," noted Mark Redfern, Interim Department Chair of Bioengineering. “Don’s leadership as assistant vice chancellor for the health sciences and executive director of SciVelo accelerated translational research and commercialization at the university level. SciVelo trained over 50 of our bioengineering graduate students in the discipline of supporting faculty to commercialize their research and many of those students have gone on to use their degrees in ways that they otherwise would not have been able to do. We are proud to honor him this evening.”


About Dr. Donald Taylor

Donald P. Taylor, PhD, MBA, CLP is the Executive Director of Licensing for The Ohio State University since 2021. Just prior, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Commercial Translation in the Health Sciences, Executive Director of sciVelo and Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which included responsibilities for working across the six Pitt health sciences schools and the Pitt School of Engineering to advance the commercialization of Pitt’s health sciences research and intellectual property. He also served Pitt Engineering by acting as associate director of entrepreneurship for the Center for Medical Innovation and taught classes including Medical Product Entrepreneurship and Medical Product Ideation.

Taylor’s basic and translational research investigated mechanisms of breast cancer metastatic latency through computational models and human, 3D-perfused micro-scale tissue bioreactors under Dr. Alan Wells. He explored approaches for diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of quiescent lesions, and his research supported that targeting therapeutics to adjacent noncarcinoma cells is a viable strategy to treat metastatic disease. This research has led to publications in high impact journals such as Cancer Research and he was an invited speaker to present his findings at the American Association for Cancer Research in 2014. Taylor is also a co-inventor on a Pitt patent filed from his research in the related field of wound healing.  

A five-time life sciences entrepreneur, Dr. Taylor previously served as vice president of corporate development for Cellumen Inc., a bio-tools company, and for its spin-off company, Cernostics Inc., a cancer molecular diagnostics company. Prior to these positions, Taylor was the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology market segment manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., where he led product marketing campaigns involving a sales team of more than 500 people and $400 million in revenue. Prior to Thermo Fisher, Taylor served in a life sciences business development role with an artificial intelligence company (Vivisimo) that was later acquired by IBM as part of their big data platform expansion. He has served on the board of directors of several biotechnology companies and spent 6 years in life sciences economic development as an Executive in Residence with the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. 

Taylor received his BS in information systems from Carnegie Mellon University and his MS and PhD degrees in bioengineering from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned an MBA at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business and conducted postdoctoral research in pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine.