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Nathan A. Smith, M.S., Ph.D.

Nathan A. Smith, M.S., Ph.D.

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About Me

Dr. Nathan A. Smith is the new Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in Research and Research Education and Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. Previously, Dr. Smith served as Director of Basic Neuroscience Research and a Prin...
Dr. Nathan A. Smith is the new Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in Research and Research Education and Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. Previously, Dr. Smith served as Director of Basic Neuroscience Research and a Principal Investigator in the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National Research Institute and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology & Physiology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He received his B.S. in Biology from Xavier University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Upon graduating in 2013, he became the first Black American male to receive a Ph.D. from the neuroscience program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Subsequently, Dr. Smith conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of Utah, Boston University, and Children's National Hospital. Dr. Smith has received numerous honors and awards in his career, including being named a 2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), named by Cell Press as one of 1000 most Inspiring Black Scientists in America in 2020, a recipient of the 2019 Neuroscience Alumni Award from the University of Rochester, and a recipient of the 2018 Children's National President's Award for Innovation in Research.

Faculty Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)

Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion for Research and Research Education - Dean's Office M&D - Administration (SMD)

Credentials

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Neuroscience Research, Children's National Research Institute. Trained with Dr. Judy Liu 2015 - 2017

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah/ Boston University. Trained with Dr. John A. White. 2013 - 2015

Education

PhD | University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Neuroscience. 2013

MS | University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Neuroscience. 2010

Bachelor of Science | Xavier University of Louisiana. Biology. 2002

Awards

2021 AAAS Fellow. 2021 - 2022

1000 most Inspiring Black Scientists in America. 2021

Sigma XI Research Honor Society. 2020

2019 Neuroscience Alumni Award. 2019 - 2020

Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience (BRAINS) Fellow. 2019 - 2020

Children's National President's Award for Innovative Research. 2018 - 2019

Mentoring Institute for Neuroscience Diversity Scholar (MINDS) Fellow. 2018 - 2019

Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Gordon Conference Travel Award. 2013 - 2014

American Epilepsy Society Fellows. 2013 - 2014

People's Choice Award Winner at the 2012 Annual GSS Poster Session. 2012 - 2013

Research

Projects in my laboratory focus on “Neuro-Glia” interactions. My research explores the understudied and novel mechanisms by which neuromodulators mediate the interactions between neurons, astrocytes, and microglia in both normal and disease states. By studying how neuromodulators mediate the unique ...
Projects in my laboratory focus on “Neuro-Glia” interactions. My research explores the understudied and novel mechanisms by which neuromodulators mediate the interactions between neurons, astrocytes, and microglia in both normal and disease states. By studying how neuromodulators mediate the unique interactions between these three cell types, we will elucidate their coordinated functions in the normal, healthy brain and how disruptions of neuronal-glial crosstalk will contribute to disease processes such as ADHD, epilepsy, and insulin resistance. To that end, we hope these studies will provide valuable insight on the role of glia in pathophysiology, which is under-recognized in developmental disorders, with the hope of revealing pathways suitable for manipulation to alter disease progression in the central nervous system. To accomplish these goals, we employ a combination of transgenic animals, electrophysiology, pharmacology, behavioral assays, and 2-Photon Ca2+ imaging in acute slices and awake behaving animals.

Publications

Journal Articles

The elusive varicose astrocytes.

Rasmussen RN, Smith NA

Trends in neurosciences.. 2022 February 45 (2):94-95. Epub 11/22/2021.

"Diversity matters series"-The Black In Neuro movement.

Smith NA, Helmreich DL, Adamantidis A, Bovolenta P, Foxe JJ, Smith Y, Vaidya VA

The European journal of neuroscience.. 2022 January 55 (2):343-349. Epub 12/28/2021.

Locus coeruleus in memory formation and Alzheimer's disease.

James T, Kula B, Choi S, Khan SS, Bekar LK, Smith NA

The European journal of neuroscience.. 2021 October 54 (8):6948-6959. Epub 11/27/2020.

Sex-Specific Social Behavior and Amygdala Proteomic Deficits in Mutant Mice.

Herrero MJ, Wang L, Hernandez-Pineda D, Banerjee P, Matos HY, Goodrich M, Panigrahi A, Smith NA, Corbin JG

Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience.. 2021 15 :706079. Epub 08/05/2021.

Astrocytic Endocannabinoids Mediate Hippocampal Transient Heterosynaptic Depression.

Smith NA, Bekar LK, Nedergaard M

Neurochemical research.. 2020 January 45 (1):100-108. Epub 06/28/2019.

Fluorescent Ca indicators directly inhibit the Na,K-ATPase and disrupt cellular functions.

Smith NA, Kress BT, Lu Y, Chandler-Militello D, Benraiss A, Nedergaard M

Science signaling.. 2018 January 3011 (515)Epub 01/30/2018.

Loss of CLOCK Results in Dysfunction of Brain Circuits Underlying Focal Epilepsy.

Li P, Fu X, Smith NA, Ziobro J, Curiel J, Tenga MJ, Martin B, Freedman S, Cea-Del Rio CA, Oboti L, Tsuchida TN, Oluigbo C, Yaun A, Magge SN, O'Neill B, Kao A, Zelleke TG, Depositario-Cabacar DT, Ghimbovschi S, Knoblach S, Ho CY, Corbin JG, Goodkin HP, Vicini S, Huntsman MM, Gaillard WD, Valdez G, Liu JS

Neuron.. 2017 October 1196 (2):387-401.e6. Epub 1900 01 01.

Neuronal transgene expression in dominant-negative SNARE mice.

Fujita T, Chen MJ, Li B, Smith NA, Peng W, Sun W, Toner MJ, Kress BT, Wang L, Benraiss A, Takano T, Wang S, Nedergaard M

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2014 December 1034 (50):16594-604. Epub 1900 01 01.

Imaging activity in neurons and glia with a Polr2a-based and cre-dependent GCaMP5G-IRES-tdTomato reporter mouse.

Gee JM, Smith NA, Fernandez FR, Economo MN, Brunert D, Rothermel M, Morris SC, Talbot A, Palumbos S, Ichida JM, Shepherd JD, West PJ, Wachowiak M, Capecchi MR, Wilcox KS, White JA, Tvrdik P

Neuron.. 2014 September 383 (5):1058-72. Epub 08/21/2014.

Ammonia triggers neuronal disinhibition and seizures by impairing astrocyte potassium buffering.

Thrane VR, Thrane AS, Wang F, Cotrina ML, Smith NA, Chen M, Xu Q, Kang N, Fujita T, Nagelhus EA, Nedergaard M

Nature medicine.. 2013 December 19 (12):1643-8. Epub 11/17/2013.

Photolysis of caged Ca2+ but not receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling triggers astrocytic glutamate release.

Wang F, Smith NA, Xu Q, Goldman S, Peng W, Huang JH, Takano T, Nedergaard M

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2013 October 3033 (44):17404-12. Epub 1900 01 01.

Neuronal adenosine release, and not astrocytic ATP release, mediates feedback inhibition of excitatory activity.

Lovatt D, Xu Q, Liu W, Takano T, Smith NA, Schnermann J, Tieu K, Nedergaard M

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2012 April 17109 (16):6265-70. Epub 03/15/2012.

Astrocytes modulate neural network activity by Ca²+-dependent uptake of extracellular K+.

Wang F, Smith NA, Xu Q, Fujita T, Baba A, Matsuda T, Takano T, Bekar L, Nedergaard M

Science signaling.. 2012 April 35 (218):ra26. Epub 04/03/2012.

Cultured astrocytes do not release adenosine during hypoxic conditions.

Fujita T, Williams EK, Jensen TK, Smith NA, Takano T, Tieu K, Nedergaard M

Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.. 2012 January 32 (1):e1-7. Epub 10/12/2011.

Osterix/Sp7 regulates mesenchymal stem cell mediated endochondral ossification.

Kaback LA, Soung do Y, Naik A, Smith N, Schwarz EM, O'Keefe RJ, Drissi H

Journal of cellular physiology.. 2008 January 214 (1):173-82. Epub 1900 01 01.

Aging delays the regeneration process following sciatic nerve injury in rats.

Wang YJ, Zhou CJ, Shi Q, Smith N, Li TF

Journal of neurotrauma.. 2007 May 24 (5):885-94. Epub 1900 01 01.

Overlapping expression of Runx1(Cbfa2) and Runx2(Cbfa1) transcription factors supports cooperative induction of skeletal development.

Smith N, Dong Y, Lian JB, Pratap J, Kingsley PD, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Schwarz EM, O'Keefe RJ, Stein GS, Drissi MH

Journal of cellular physiology.. 2005 April 203 (1):133-43. Epub 1900 01 01.