Dr. Anna Taylor

Headshot of Dr.Anna Taylor

Assistant Professor


PhD - Pharmacology, McGill University, 2011
BSc - Pharmacology, Queen's University, 2005

Website: taylorlaboratory.com 

Canada Research Chair in Pain and Addiction 


Impact of chronic pain on reward and motivation

Research Interests / Laboratory Techniques
Dr. Taylor’s research program spans the fields of opioid addiction and chronic pain. She engages a broad range of disciplines including pharmacology, microbiology, genetics, and animal behaviour to provide mechanistic insight into how affective circuitry contributes to pain and addiction. Her research strives to understand how chronic pain changes affective brain circuits and whether these changes alter the effects of opioids. She explores strategies to improve opioid efficacy while minimizing addiction risk. Finally, she is developing novel, non-addicting opioid agonists to treat pain without abuse liability. This research comes at a critical juncture when safe and effective chronic pain management is increasingly challenging amidst the opioid overdose epidemic.

Dr. Taylor is the course coordinator for PMCOL200.

Current Projects Include:
1) Investigating the mechanism leading to neuroinflammation in the brain in chronic pain
2) Exploring the gut-brain signaling axis in chronic pain and opioid function
3) Studying the sex differences in reward behaviour in chronic pain and opioid function using sophisticated genetic models.

Selected Recent Publications

1. Taylor AMW, Chadwick C, Mehrabani S, Hrncir H, Arnold A, Evans CJ (2020) “Sex differences in kappa opioid receptor anti-nociception is influenced by the number of X chromosomes in mouse” Journal of Neuroscience Research (IF: 4.16), 100(1):183-190. (lead author, PI, corresponding author, trainee contributing author)

2. Dworsky-Fried Z, Kerr B, Taylor AMW (2020) “Microbes, Microglia, and Pain” Neurobiology of Pain (IF: 3.51), 7:100045 (corresponding author, PI, trainee first author)

3. Parker KE, Sugiarto E, Taylor AMW, Pradhan AA, Al-Hasani R (2020) “Pain, motivation, migraine and the microbiome: New frontiers for opioid systems and disease” Molecular Pharmacology (IF: 3.98), 98(4):433-444 (contributing author, trainee contributing author)

4. Dworsky-Fried Z, Chadwick C, Kerr BJ, Taylor AMW (2021) “Multiple sclerosis and the endogenous opioid system” Frontiers in Neuroscience (IF: 5.15), 15: 741503 (corresponding author, PI, trainee first author, trainee contributing author)

5. Dworsky-Fried Z, Faig CA, Vogel HA, Kerr BJ, Taylor AMW (2022) “Central amygdala inflammation drives pain hypersensitivity and attenuates morphine analgesia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis” Pain (IF: 7.93), 163(1):e49-e61 (corresponding author, PI, trainee first author, trainee contributing author), selected as “Editor’s Choice” article

6. Galleguillos D, Wang Q, Steinberg N, Zaidi A, Shrivastava G, Dhami K, Daskhan G, Schmidt E, Dworsky-Fried Z, Giuliani F, Churchward M, Power C, Todd K, Taylor AMW, Macauley M, Sipione S (2022) “Anti-inflammatory role of GM1 and other gangliosides on microglia” Journal of Neuroinflammation (IF:8.32),19(1):9 (contributing author, trainee contributing author)

Lab Members
Graduate Students
Christian Faig
Julia Nickols
Adam Wass (Neuroscience)