Dr. Smith earned his B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec in 1979 and his Ph.D. degree in 1987 in Immunology at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. His dissertation work focused on the basic mechanisms for alloantigen recognition by T-cells as related to allograft rejection in animal transplant models. He continued with a fellowship at the University of Chicago till 1991, when he was appointed to Chief Research Technologist in the Department of Surgery, University of Chicago. He was responsible for derivation and characterization of novel monoclonal antibodies for human transplant immunosuppressive therapy. This work involved extensive interaction between both basic immunology and transplant surgery groups in a translational research program. These studies culminated with the derivation and characterization of a potent immunosuppressive monoclonal antibody directed against a monomorphic region of human class I HLA molecules.
He started his industrial career as a Research Scientist at Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI in 1996 where he was regularly promoted and ended his employment in May 2008 as a Principal Scientist. He established and directed programs focusing on adoptive T-cell immunotherapy, dendritic cell vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer, and immunologic characterization of adult stem cells for human tissue repair. These programs enabled development and clinical evaluation of a novel perfusion bioreactor system for production and genetic transduction of different cell types for emerging applications in human cell therapy.
Current research as a member of the vaccine development team of MNIMBS is focused on development, characterization and application of nanoemulsion based adjuvants for intranasal induction of systemic and mucosal immunity.