Title and Department
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Professional bio

Scott Smith, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a physician-scientist who is also trained as an adult infectious diseases clinical specialist with over 20 years experience in the area of viral pathogenesis and immunity. 

Dr. Scott Smith's lab has been the first to develop immunoglobulin E (IgE) producing cells from allergy patients infected with parasitic worms. IgE is an antibody humans make, thought to help protect us from parasitic worm infection. It is also, however, a control molecule at the center of allergic diseases. Dr. Smith and his research team are utilizing these antibodies to study the natural purpose of IgE as a beneficial immune molecule for fighting parasitic worms. The development of helminth vaccines may benefit from characterizing these immune molecules and their parasitic worm target antigens as an essential first step. Obtaining IgE monoclonal antibodies also allows Dr. Smith and his team to create new tools to improve allergy diagnostics and immunotherapies. 

Finally, Dr. Smith is investigating a new strategy for allergy immunotherapy. By turning the pathogenic IgE antibody into a therapeutic IgG antibody, he hopes to block severe allergic reactions to common allergens including foods.​