Professor Taber came to Washington University in St. Louis in 1997 as a founding member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. From 1982 to 1997, he was a professor at the University of Rochester in the department of mechanical engineering. From 1978 to 1982, he was a research engineer in the biomedical science department at the General Motors Research Laboratories.
Since 1990, Professor Taber has pioneered studies of the mechanics of growth and development of the heart and arteries. He and his students have developed the first mathematical models for cardiovascular growth and morphogenesis and were the first to measure stress, strain and interstitial pressure in the heart of the early chick embryo. With a blend of theoretical modeling and experimentation, these studies have provided new insights into our understanding of the mechanisms that drive heart development, as well as mechanical abnormalities that may play a role in congenital heart disease. Recently, Professor Taber has extended this work to the problem of brain folding.
In addition to his work in the mechanics of development, he has conducted research in cochlear mechanics, crash injury, and cardiac mechanics. During the 1980s, he published a series of papers dealing with the nonlinear theory of elastic shells. These efforts have resulted in approximately 70 journal articles and have been supported by a series of grants from NIH and NSF. In addition, Professor Taber is the author of a book titled Nonlinear Theory of Elasticity: Applications in Biomechanics.