Dr. Smith is Professor of Laboratory Medicine And Pathology and Consultant in the Division of Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Smith is also the chairman of the Technology Assessment Committee, which works for the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic. The goal of this committee is to evaluate new technologies that could have a significant impact on research and its clinical translation.
The laboratory of David I. Smith, Ph.D., uses the most cutting-edge genomic technologies to better understand the molecular alterations that underlie cancer development. Dr. Smith's laboratory is involved in two major ongoing projects. The first is using the powerful tool of next-generation DNA sequencing to analyze the precise alterations that occur in different oropharyngeal cancers. The laboratory is also studying the role of large genes that reside in chromosomal regions of profound instability in the development of oropharyngeal cancer. The second major project in the laboratory is the study of long noncoding RNA. It has recently been found that in addition to the 20,000 known genes that code for different proteins, there are at least 200,000 other RNA transcripts that do not code for protein, but which have important regulatory roles within cells. The laboratory is studying one of these transcripts because it appears to be stress-responsive, and its expression is inactivated in most breast cancers studied.