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Taylor recognized for graduate mentorship

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. David Taylor
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Apr. 8, 2013)   —   Dr. David Taylor has been named one of two recipients of a new East Carolina University award that recognizes mentorship of graduate students.

Taylor, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, will receive the ECU Distinguished Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, Doctoral Category, on Friday during ECU's Research Week Recognition Luncheon. The award is part of the university's annual Research and Creative Achievement Week.

Taylor has been involved in the direct mentoring of three students at ECU and 11 during his career (three medical/doctoral students and eight doctoral students) as well as 11 postdoctoral fellows. He has served as a member of 16 dissertation advisory committees and two master's thesis committees at ECU and more than 30 overall.

While he has directly mentored only some of the students who have pursued graduate degrees in his department, Taylor said he takes responsibility for some level of mentoring for all department students.

"This is a duty that I take very seriously and enjoy very much as the quality of our students is very high, which makes it a pleasure to participate in the nurturing process," Taylor said. "The graduate program currently has 15 students and has maintained a student population of 10 to 15 since 2005. I consider this award an unexpected honor and one that certainly humbles me and makes me appreciate the students who were involved in nominating me."

Doctoral student Ben Thompson wrote a nomination letter for Taylor on behalf of several students in the department. "We felt that he was deserving of it because he has always tried to provide every opportunity for us to improve ourselves as scientists," Thompson said. "He never turns us away when we are in need of advice and is always willing to share his knowledge and insight."

Taylor joined ECU in 2001. He has a bachelor's degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia and a doctorate from West Virginia University. He completed fellowships at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

His research focuses on autonomic and cardiovascular pharmacology, neuropharmacology, drug tolerance and cellular adaptation.

Dr. Melani Duffrin, a professor of nutrition and dietetics in the ECU College of Human Ecology, is the other recipient of the award this year. A total of 47 faculty members were nominated for the awards.

Selection of the award recipients was based on evidence of success as an outstanding mentor; guiding students in their intellectual growth, helping them developing independent research interests, and fostering their development of communication skills, interpersonal skills, research skills and professional skills, according to Dr. Paul Gemperline, dean of graduate studies at ECU.

More information about Research and Creative Achievement Week is online at


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482