Dr. Aubrey Taylor, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the University of South
Alabama College of Medicine, has been selected to receive the American Heart Association
Award of Meritorious Achievement. The award will be presented at the American Heart
Association (AHA) 2005 National Volunteer Leadership Conference & Heart & Stroke Lobby Day
in Washington, D.C. next month.
AHA gives the award annually to four or five individuals who have rendered an
important service to AHA in the development of its national programs. Recipients are
selected based on a specific accomplishment or project.
Taylor is being recognized for his work leading to the development of a position
paper, "Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Cardiovascular Disease," which was published in 1992
in Circulation, an AHA publication. The paper, which reviewed the current scientific and
medical data on second-hand smoke, confirmed AHA's position that second-hand smoke
significantly affects cardiovascular, platelet, and neutrophil function and plaque
formation. The work concluded that environmental tobacco smoke is a major preventable cause
of cardiovascular disease.
Taylor's work came at a time when controversy surrounded the issue of second-hand
smoke and the recommendation it be banned from the workplace. The work has been cited by
authors in several publications, such as the Journal of American College of Cardiology and
the Journal of American Medical Association.
Since the publication, Taylor has contributed significantly towards advocating AHA's
position on the link between environmental smoke and cardiovascular disease. He held news
conferences on the issue and spoke before AHA affiliate and division boards, and the Alabama
Governor's Health Conference on behalf of the AHA. In 1994, on behalf of the Coalition on
Health and the Environment, an organization made up of the AHA, the American Lung
Association, and the American Cancer Society, Taylor testified to Congressional
Subcommittees on environmental smoke and cardiovascular disease as well as the
cardiovascular effect of carbon monoxide. He also presented the information at the 41st
American National Health Forum and to Physicians for Environmental Change. In 1997, Taylor
gave depositions regarding environmental smoke and cardiovascular disease as part of a class
action suit against tobacco companies.
In addition to his work with the AHA, Taylor has been successful in a wide range of
medical and scientific endeavors for almost half a century. In 1999, Taylor received the
American Thoracic Society Classics in Physiology Award from the American Thoracic Society.
From 1967 to 1977, he served as professor of physiology at the University of Mississippi
School of Medicine. An avid researcher, Taylor has published over 700 scientific
publications and abstracts.
Taylor has been with USA for approximately 27 years, serving as professor and chair
of the department of physiology. He has served as Fellow on the American Heart Association
Circulation Council and on the Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Councils since