The outstanding success of vaccines in combating infectious diseases is now a familiar story. The Smith lab developed vaccines as a strategy to prevent some of the most common of all human infections, those leading to tooth decay. They studied how and when young children acquire these infections and how a child’s developing immune system normally responds to them. Using this knowledge, they designed both active and passive vaccines directed to bacterial virulence components in order to block or minimize decay-causing infections. They also investigated ways to produce and administer vaccines, optimizing their effectiveness and boosting natural immune responses in order to induce protective immunity where it will be the most beneficial.
Dr. Smith also took leadership in mentoring the next generation of oral health scientists and clinicians. He initiated and led the NRSA Institutional T32 (T90/R90) Award for Postdoctoral Training at Forsyth, now approaching its 20th year. At Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Smith established the problem-based Oral Microbiology and Immunology course given to dental students in their first year and was its longtime course director. His activities on the HSDM Predoctoral Research and Research Committees helped foster student research at both Harvard and Forsyth.
Houghton College, BS, 1966
New York Medical College, PhD, 1972 (Immunochemistry)