Meet Our Researchers: Judith Smith

Name: Judy Smith

Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ

Zodiac Sign: Libra

Research Overview

The major focus of the Smith lab is an intracellular stress response originating from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) called the “Unfolded Protein Response” or “UPR”. The UPR has been implicated in such diverse processes as viral infection, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What inspired you to select your field of study?

I remember always being intrigued by the war between infectious diseases and the immune system, even as a kid. Learning about autoimmune diseases (when the anti-pathogen response gets confused) clinched the deal.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students?

Believe in yourself and your right to be here – there will be lots of people out there to take you down, but you deserve respect and help from others when needed.

When you’re not in the lab, how do you spend your time?

Taking care of patients, hobbies (figure skating, ballet, gardening, baking, art), time with family – not necessarily in this order : )

If you didn’t become a scientist, what career would you have pursued?

Pipe dream would have been to be an artist. More realistically, “simply” a medical doctor.

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?

Dinner at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill in Maui many years ago

You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?

No one wants to hear me sing. Even the shower stall cringes.

Have you ever completed anything on your “bucket list”? If so, what was it?

I don’t have a bucket list. Really. Never had the remotest desire to jump out of a plane or anything similar.