Dr. Erin Taylor

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Get Contact Info


Department of Computational and Physical Sciences Biochemistry Chemistry


Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. She grew on Lake Michigan in Grand Haven, MI. She participated in Science Olympiad which inspired her to pursue a degree in molecular biology and biochemistry. During graduate school, she found her passion for teaching undergraduates and pursued a graduate teaching certificate. She was awarded a coveted teaching postdoc award that allowed her to teach at Southwestern University, a small liberal arts college in Texas. She was later hired there full time as an assistant professor where she taught general chemistry, biochemisty, physical chemistry and a nonmajors chemistry of food course. She was hired at Carroll in Fall 2020 during the COVID pandemic. She is excited to become a part of the Carroll community and meet more students and faculty after quarantine is ended.

Dr. Taylor loves walking and riding her bike to campus and around Waukesha. She has a three year old who is growing up to be a big science nerd. She also loves singing in choirs and hopes to continue at Carroll.


  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
  • Postdoc in Biochemistry, The University of Texas, Austin, TX
  • Ph. D. in Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Otterbein College, Westerville, OH

Areas of Specialization

Biochemistry, molecular cloning, DNA repair, enzyme mechanism and kinetics, Kintek explorer kinetics computer simulation

Scholarly and Professional Achievements


2018 American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting, Boston, MA 
“Teaching principles of chemical equilibria using computer simulation methods” 
2015 Enzyme Mechanisms Conference, San Luis Resort, Galveston, TX 
“Kinetic mechanism for the flipping and excision of 1,N6-ethenoadenine by AlkA” 
2014 Annual Midwest DNA Repair Meeting, Detroit, MI 
“Kinetic mechanism for the excision of εA by AlkA” 


Name changed in 2014 
Taylor, E. L., Kesavan, P. M., Wolfe, A. E., and O’Brien, P. J. (2018) Distinguishing specific and nonspecific complexes of  alkyladenine DNA glycosylase, Biochemistry, (submitted).  
Taylor, E. L., and O’Brien, P. J. (2015) Kinetic mechanism for the flipping and excision of 1,N6-ethenoadenine by AlkA, Biochemistry 54, 898-908. 
Good, P. D., Kendall A., Ignatz-Hoover, J., Miller, E. L., Pai, D. A., Rivera, S. R., Carrick B., and Engelke, D. R. (2013)  Silencing near tRNA genes is nucleosome-mediated and distinct from boundary element function. Gene 526, 7-15. 
Pratt-Hyatt, M., Pai, D. A., Haeusler, R. A., Wozniak, G. G., Good, P. D., Miller, E. L., McLeod, I. X., Yates, J. R. 3rd,  Hopper, A. K., and Engelke, D. R. (2013) Mod5 protein binds to tRNA gene complexes and affects local transcriptional  silencing. PNAS 110, E3081-9. 
Bartholomew, S. R., Bell, E. H., Summerfield, T., Newman, L. C., Miller, E. L., Patterson, B., Niday, Z. P., Ackerman, W.  E. 4th, and Tansey, J. T. (2012) Distinct cellular pools of perilipin 5 point to roles in lipid trafficking. Biochim Biophys Acta 1821, 268-278.

Service to Carroll University and Profession

  • Chemistry Department Supplemental Instruction Advisor for General Chemistry, Southwestern Univ

  • Debby Ellis Writing Center Faculty collaborator in chemistry writing, Southwestern Univ

  • Science Olympiad Volunteer, Crime Busters event

    • Three years as an event coach and 5 years as a regionals event supervisor

What should students know about you?

Taylor Research Lab

The soil and gut bacteria, Bacillus subtilis, is constantly being exposed to damaging chemicals. These chemicals damage DNA in a variety of ways, including adding alkyl groups to the bases and DNA backbone. As even the simplest methyl group can inhibit replication machinery, or cause mutations in the genome, it is imperative that cells evolve pathways to protect themselves from such damage. Bacterial cells that are exposed to low doses of DNA damaging chemicals “adapt” to withstand higher doses of the same chemicals. This “adaptive response” upregulates the expression of alkylation repair enzymes such as glycosylases that remove a damaged base from the genome.

Interestingly, Bacillus subtilis contains genes for at least four glycosylases that repair alkylation damage, including one that is typically only found in eukaryotes. Little is known about these enzymes and their overall role in alkylation repair and the adaptive response in B. subtilis. The Taylor lab uses various molecular biology and biochemistry techniques to characterize these enzymes. By deleting these various genes from the genome and exposing cells to damaging chemicals, we hope to comprehend the complicated nature of DNA damage repair in bacteria. By purifying the proteins and reacting them with damaged DNA in kinetics assays, we hope to characterize their mechanisms and determine their substrate specificity.

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