Taylor Lab

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | School of Medicine | New Orleans, LA

The Taylor Lab focuses on microbial community research and visualization methods. Our primary area of research is studying the vaginal microbiome and relationships with bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, and other sexually transmitted infections. We also have ongoing studies on the gut microbiome and relationships with alcohol use and HIV.

Chris Taylor, PhD

Principal Investigator | Associate Professor

Chris is a computer scientist who began working on computational biology in 2003 soon after the sequencing of the human genome was completed. His graduate research focused on studying the timing of human DNA replication using DNA-tiling microarrays as part of the NIH funded ENCODE project. In 2008 he shifted his focus to the emerging field of high-throughput sequencing and has directed the development of software tools and systems for dual RNA-Seq analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of microbial communities. The current research focus of his lab is on the human microbiome, studying the bacteria that live within and upon us, and the impact that antibiotics and probiotics have on these vital communities.

Jacob Elnaggar

MD/PhD Graduate Student

Jacob began working in the bioinformatics lab with Dr. Taylor to pursue his PhD in 2020. His research investigates changes in vaginal bacterial communities leading up to development of bacterial vaginosis using DNA sequencing and qPCR methods. Jacob has developed new qPCR standards and analysis methods for absolute quantification of various bacteria in the vaginal community. He is developing analysis methods for shotgun metagenomics sequencing data to provide a more detailed view of the changes in the vaginal community leading up to incident bacterial vaginosis.

John Lammons

MD/PhD Graduate Student

John began working in the bioinformatics lab with Dr. Taylor to pursue his PhD in 2022. His research interests involve interactions of the gut microbiota with aging and cardiovascular diseases. John is developing analysis methods visualization of bacteriophage found in shotgun metagenomics data. He also has an interest in interactions of alcohol use with the gut microbiota.

Vince Maffei

MD/PhD Graduate Student (Alumnus)

Vince began working in the bioinformatics lab with Dr Taylor to pursue his PhD in 2014. His research investigated the interaction between alcohol use and the gut microbiota in an HIV-positive patient population. Vince developed analysis methods for looking at networks of bacteria that interact within the gut community and applied this approach to a study of biological aging and the human gut microbiota. He was also a T32 trainee working within the LSUHSC Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center (CARC) and successfully applied for and received an F30 award from NIH/NIAAA. Vince is currently at Wake Forrest University as an internal medicine resident.

Gene Blanchard

Bioinformatics Analyst | Lab Manager (Alumnus)

Gene began working in bioinformatics with Dr. Taylor at Children's Hospital New Orleans as a student worker in 2012. After graduating from the University of New Orleans in May 2013 with a degree in computer science he joined Dr. Taylor's lab at LSUHSC as a full-time bioinformatics analyst. He managed the high-perfomance Linux machines in addition to managing and analyzing the large amounts of sequencing data generated by the Microbial Genomics Resource Group. Gene has moved to a position in industry where he develops solutions using cloud computing infrastructure.

What we do

The Taylor lab is involved in a wide range of activities.

Analyze Sequencing Data

We utilize 16S rRNA gene sequencing data to study microbial communities with particular interest in the human reproductive tract and interactions with STIs


We design, implement, and test new software tools for analysis and processing of sequencing data.

Pipeline Design

We stitch together software tools to construct custom pipelines that accelerate our research and enhance reproducibility

Data Visualization

We develop and implement new ways to visualize sequencing data


We teach our collaborators how to use computational tools to analyze their own data through direct interaction in our lab as well as lectures offered to the broader community

Computational Resources

We maintain several high-performance Linux workstations and a new computational cluster along with over 100TB of combined secondary storage archiving over a decade of DNA sequencing data.

Lectures On Informatics

A link to introductory lecture series given by the Taylor lab.

Get in touch

  • Address

    CSRB Room 605
    533 Bolivar Street,
    New Orleans, LA 70112
  • Office

  • Lab