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Work experience

6/2016present

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

University of California at Davis

Research fellow in laboratory of Dr. David A. Mills, Ph.D. Studying the normal development of the intestinal microbiota in term infants.

8/20145/2016

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center

Research fellow in laboratory of Dr. John Harley, M.D./Ph.D. Research focused on the microbiome in lupus.

9/20098/2014

Graduate Student

University of Cincinnati

Graduate student in research laboratory of Ardythe L. Morrow, Ph.D. Worked with term and preterm infant cohorts to study the intestinal microbiome during early life and its association with health and disease

7/20077/2009

Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Awardee

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Trainee in the Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology Branch, Laboratory of Clinical Genomics. Investigated biomarkers of testicular cancer Funding through the Dean's Scholars program to support an Honor's Thesis, summer 2006. Examined the possible linkage of flower color polymorphisms in H. matronalis to other traits leading to differential survival across microclimates

6/20058/2005

Summer Research Intern

Boyce Thompson Institute

Internship at the Boyce Thompson Institute working in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Moffett on gene to gene Rx resistance in genetically engineered N. benthamiana. Used Virus Induced Gene Silencing to investigate the Rx resistance pathway.

Education

20092014

Ph.D.

University of Cincinnati

GPA 3.98, Thesis focused on the intestinal microbiome of preterm infants and the risk of late-onset sepsis.

20032007

B.A.

Cornell University

GPA 3.6, Magna cum Laude Chemistry and Cum Laude Biology. Honors Thesis examined the possible linkage of flower color polymorphism in H. matronalis to other traits leading to differential survival across microclimates.

Publications

Cheung HH, Lee TL, Davis AJ, Taft DH, Rennert OW, Chan WY.  Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling reveals novel epigenetically regulated genes and non-coding RNAs in human testicular cancer.  British Journal of Cancer 2010, 102 419-27 (January 5, 2010)

Morrow ALLagomarcino A, Schibler KR, Taft D, Yu Z, Wang B, Wagner M, Ward D, Gevers D, Kennedy M, Huttenhower C, Newburg DS.  Early microbial and metabolomic signatures predict later onset of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.  Microbiome 2013, 1:13 (16 April 2013).

Greenwood C, Morrow AL, Lagomarcino A, Altaye M, Taft D, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward D, Schibler KR.  Early empirical antibiotic use in preterm infants is associated with lower bacterial diversity and higher relative abundance of Enterobacter.  Journal of Pediatrics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.01.010  165 (1), 23:29 (July 2014)

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Intestinal Microbiota of Preterm Infants Differ Between Hospitals and Over Time.  Microbiome, 2(1):36 (October 1, 2014)

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Deshmukh H, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Center Variation in Intestinal Microbiota Prior to Late-Onset Sepsis in Preterm Infants.  PLoS One. 2015, 10(6):e0130604.

Liu K, Kurien BT, Zimmerman SL, Kaufman KM, Taft DH, Kottyan LC, Lazaro S, Weaver CA, Ice JA, Adler AJ, Chodosh J, Radfar L, Rasmussen A, Stone DU, Lewis DM, Li S, Koelsch KA, Igoe A, Talsania M, Kumar J, Maier-Moore JS, Harris VM, Gopalakrishnan R, Jonsson R, Lessard JA, Lu X, Gottenberg JE, Anaya JM, Cunninghame-Graham DS, Huang AJ, Brennan MT, Hughes P, Illei GG, Miceli-Richard C, Keystone EC, Bykerk VP, Hirschfield G, Xie G, Ng WF, Nordmark G, Eriksson P, Omdal R, Rhodus NL, Rischmueller M, Rohrer M, Segal BM, Vyse TJ, Wahren-Herlenius M, Witte T, Pons-Estel B, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Guthridge JM, James JA, Lessard CJ, Kelly JA, Thompson SD, Gaffney PM, Montgomery CG, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Alarcón GS, Langefeld CL, Gilkeson GS, Kamen DL, Tsao BP, McCune WJ, Salmon JE, Merrill JT, Weisman MH, Wallace DJ, Utset TO, Bottinger EP, Amos CI, Siminovitch KA, Mariette X, Sivils KL, Harley JB, Scofield RH. X Chromosome Dose and Sex Bias in Autoimmune Diseases: Increased 47,XXX in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Sjögren's Syndrome. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2015 Dec. 29, doi: 10.1002/art.39560.

Puri K*, Taft DH*, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Morrow AL, Kallapur SG. *Co-first authors. Association of Chorioamnionitis with Aberrant Neonatal Gut Colonization and Adverse Clinical Outcomes. PLoS One. 2016, 11(9): e0162734.

Ward DV, Scholz M, Zolfo M, Taft DH, Schibler KR, Tett A, Segata N, Morrow AL.  Metagenomic Sequencing with Strain-Level Resolution Implicates Uropathogenic E. coli in Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Mortality in Preterm Infants. Cell Reports. 2016 March 29, 14(12):  2912-24.

Cox J, Ballweg R, Taft DH, Velayutham P, Haslam D, Porollo A. A Fast and Robust Protocol for Metataxonomic Analysis Using RNAseq Data. Microbiome (Accepted Manuscript).

Oral Presentations

Taft DH. University of Cincinnati Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology seminar.  “A pilot study of TLR4 polymorphism in relation to intestinal dysbiosis and risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.” March 2013.

Taft D, Kottyan L, Lagomarcino A, Schibler K, Yu Z, Gevers D, Ward D, Huttenhower C, Newburg D, Morrow A.  A pilot study of TLR4 polymorphism in relation to intestinal dysbiosis and risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.  2013 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.

Taft DH.  Understanding an outbreak investigation. Invited guest lecturer.  Xavier University, Department of Health Services Administration, Cincinnati, OH. September 2013.

Taft DH.  University of Cincinnati Medical Center Radiology Resident Research Core Curriculum Guest Lecture. “Basics of Epidemiology.” March 2014 and September 2014.

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Intestinal colonization patterns differ in prior to late-onset sepsis in premature infants.  2014 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts.  2014 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.                              

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Intestinal microbiota of preterm infants differ between sites and over time:  a comparison of two large neonatal intensive care units.  2014 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.

Posters

Taft D, Jiang X, Huang P, Davidson B, Morrow AL.  Maternal fucosyltransferase 2 genotype alters milk immunoglobulin A levels specific to some strains of norovirus. 2012 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts.  Poster

Newburg DS, Yu Z, Taft D, Mukherjee P, Lagomarcino A, Schibler KR, Gevers D, Ward D, Morrow AL. The intestinal microbiome of preterm infants differs by gestational age and FUT2 genotype. 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.

Greenwood C, Morrow AL, Taft D, Lagomarcino A, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward D, Gevers D, Schibler KR. Empirical and Antenatal Antibiotics Alter the Early Intestinal Microbiome of Premature Infants. 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.

Morrow ALLagomarcino A, Schibler KR, Taft D, Yu Z, Ward D, Gevers D, Huttenhower C, Newburg DS.  Composition of the early intestinal microbiome associates with necrotizing enterocolitis or death in preterm infants. 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting abstracts.

Taft D, Kottyan L, Lagomarcino A, Schibler K, Yu Z, Gevers D, Ward D, Huttenhower C, Newburg D, Morrow A.  A pilot study of TLR4 polymorphism in relation to intestinal dysbiosis and risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.  2013 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Intestinal colonization patterns differ in prior to late-onset sepsis in premature infants.  2014 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts.                              

Taft DH, Ambalavanan N, Schibler KR, Yu Z, Newburg DS, Ward DV, Morrow AL.  Intestinal microbiota of preterm infants differ between sites and over time:  a comparison of two large neonatal intensive care units.  2014 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts.

Taft DH, Ward DV, Ollberding NJ, Schibler KR, Ambalavanan N, Yu ZT, Newburg DS, Davidson BS, Morrow AL.  Preterm infant gut microbiome and weight at 36 weeks corrected gestational age.  2015 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts. 

Taft DH, The fatty acid composition of human milk is associated with infant microbial community profile. 2016 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts.

Teaching Experience and Invited Lectures

Instructor and Course Developer, "Microbiome Analysis for Beginners", in collaboration with Dr. Karen Kalanetra. Course will be taught Spring 2017, University of California at Davis.

Mentorship of three undergraduates in Mills lab, 2016-present

Lecture entitled “The Human Microbiome – At the Intersection of Genetics and Ecology”, Advanced Fundamentals of Genetics course, University of Cincinnati Fall Semester 2015

Instructor, MCAT Preparation Course Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section, University of Cincinnati, Summer Session 2015 and Winter Session 2016

Lecture entitled “Basics of Epidemiology”, Radiology Fellows Research Lectures, University Hospital, Cincinnati, Spring 2014, Fall 2015

Teaching assistant, Introduction to Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati Department of Environmental Health Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Winter Quarter 2011, Winter Quarter 2012, Fall Semester 2012, Fall Semester 2013

Mentorship of three undergraduate students in the Morrow lab by advising on their own project development and implementation 2010-2014 

Awards

Nominated by College of Medicine for University of Cincinnati’s Excellence in Teaching Award 2012

University of Cincinnati Graduate Student Research Festival Poster Award Honorable            Mention, 2013

Nutritional Immunology Poster Competition at Experimental Biology, third place. 2014

Finalist Translational Research Award Competition, American Society for Nutrition, Experimental Biology, 2016.

Funding

Currently supported by a grant from Mengniu (Mills, PI), “UC Davis Lactation Study”

Co-investigator, internal Research in Progress grant, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, “Microbiome of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis”

Past traineeship, Pre-doctoral Fellow, University of Cincinnati’s Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health training program. NIH T32 ES 10957-11

Travel award to attend the 2013 Office of Dietary Supplements Research Practicum

Past traineeship funded by NICHD P01 HD13021 (Morrow, PI), “The Role of Human Milk in Infant Nutrition and Health”

Taft, Diana (PI), University of Cincinnati Graduate Student Governance Association, grant ($500). “Maternal FUT2 genotype as a determinant of human milk sIgA concentrations”

Other Training Activities

Attended the ten day summer 2012 the Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Populations (STAMPs) course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and received a certificate of completion

Attended the three day 2013 Office of Dietary Supplements Research Practicum focused on use, research, and regulation of dietary supplements in the United States at the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and received a certificate of completion

Attended the five day 2017 Join Genome Institute IMG training on the analysis of bacterial genomic and metagenomic datasets in Walnut Creek, CA and received a certificate of completion

Professional Memberships

Member of the American Society of Nutrition

Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science