Dr. Smith joined the Frazer Lab in March 2011 as a project scientist, with an interest in the analysis of genetic and genomic data to identity functional genetic variants influencing human disease. Dr. Smith obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an MS in Epidemiology in 2008 from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In her graduate work, performed in the laboratory of Dr. Leonid Kruglyak at the University of Washington and Princeton University, Dr. Smith mapped and characterized naturally occurring variations that showed environment-specific effects on gene expression in yeast, allowing for the elucidation of specific and general mechanisms of gene-environment interaction. She then spent three years of postdoctoral training in human genetics with Dr. Sarah Murray at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, CA, where she undertook multiple genome-wide association studies including analyses the longitudinal patterns of bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Dr. Smith’s analysis of the genetics of bipolar disorder was undertaken in close collaboration with Dr. John Kelsoe.
In the Frazer Lab, Dr. Smith will apply next-generation sequencing methods, such as targeted exome sequencing and RNA-Seq, to address questions in cancer progression and to identify and characterize variants associated on a population level with human diseases.