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Brian Dewar

Department Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Biology

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anatomy critical thinking genetics molecular biology physiology protein biochemistry


  • PhD, Toxicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BS, Biology, Geneva College

Career Highlights

Currently serving as Chair of my Department; have been at Taylor University for over 12 years; lived in Cuenca, Ecuador for 6 months with my family while on sabbatical; am an active member in the Indiana Physiological Society - served as President in 2020; co-creator of the Human Physiology and Preventive Medicine major at TU; have had the privilege to mentor, instruct, and engage countless students, both in teaching and research, from several TU majors; work with amazing colleagues; completed my graduate degree and post-doctoral training at UNC-CH - Go Heels!

Featured Work

A research project that I have mentored and engaged students in centers around the understanding of the role of a group of membrane bound protein receptors (the TAS1R family—TAS1R1, TAS1R2, and TAS1R3); these receptors are responsible for a cell's ability to detect sugars or amino acids; they were originally discovered and characterized due to their role in gustation (action of tasting), serving as the molecular “taste” receptors for either sweet (sugars) or umami (savory or meaty—amino acids). Interestingly these receptors have now been shown to be expressed in tissues not involved in gustation. We have investigate the role of these receptors in regulating bone cell (osteoblasts and osteoclasts) function, thereby potentially affecting overall bone and cartilage physiology. In collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Lowery (Marion University College of Osteopathic Medicine) and Dr. Eric Wauson (Des Monies University), our preliminary work has demonstrated that a number of bone related cells (bone mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts) express these nutrient-sensing receptors. Long-term, we are working to better define the functional role of these receptors in bone, and potentially cartilage, physiology. 


I was born in Arizona, lived in Hawaii, went to HS in Maryland, and attended Geneva College. I am now a life-long Tar Heel, eastern Carolina BBQ (w/ hushpuppies) lover, and try to frequent the Carolina coast. The undergraduate years of study are a transforming time period for most people. A critical component of this process is faculty-student interaction. This interaction is often greater and amplified at places like Taylor University and was a significant part of my own undergraduate experience. A major reason I decided to pursue a career at Taylor was to continue to participate in this faculty-student interaction and transformation process.


Using power tools to fix my house. Model railroading and trains (though I have not done this in a while). Guitar - I would really like to construct my own acoustic guitar. Currently, I am accumulating tools to do this. So far, I have a nice pair of wood chisels. I have also played trumpet in the past.