Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Phone: (206) 685-6144
Office Location: Health Sciences, J-279a
Campus Box: 357735
Dr. Smith performed his graduate studies at Harvard University in the laboratory of Dr. James Cunningham. His thesis focused on understanding how conformational changes in the envelope glycoprotein of the retrovirus avian leukosis virus A are linked to entry and infection. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Glen Nemerow at the Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Smith studied the mechanisms of action of innate (e.g., defensins) and adaptive (e.g., neutralizing antibodies) immune effectors in neutralizing human adenovirus infection.
The Smith lab is primarily focused on understanding the role of defensins in antiviral immunity. Defensins are a class of antimicrobial peptides with broadly acting antibacterial activity; however, their role in antiviral immunity, particularly for nonenveloped viruses, is less well understood. Using a variety of approaches from virology, cell biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and genetics, our work is focused on understanding the interaction of defensins with human adenovirus and human papillomavirus in molecular detail. We are also interested in using animal models of enteric viral diseases to understand the role of defensins in antiviral immunity in vivo. Finally, through comparative studies with other nonenveloped viruses, we will determine general principals of defensin-mediated neutralization of nonenveloped virus infection.
Please see lab website for a list of publications.