M. Sydney Smith

Immunology Program Graduate Student Candidate

Biography

In 2017, Sydney graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. As an undergraduate, Sydney was involved in multiple research projects investigating the underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration and phagolysosomal maturation. Sydney entered the Immunology Graduate Program in the fall of 2017, where she joined the laboratory of Charles Parkos. In her time at University of Michigan, Sydney has served in multiple leadership roles, including as a member of the miLEAD Consulting Group board, a student-led non-profit that aims to provide professional development opportunities to trainees through collaboration with the local business community.

Research Interests

Sydney studies the functional biology of Junctional Adhesion Molecule (JAM) family proteins in regulating intestinal homeostasis under normal and inflammatory conditions characteristic of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Techniques

Primary murine enteroid culture, intestinal loop surgery, colonoscope-based biopsy-wounding, flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, SDS-PAGE western blotting, recombinant protein purification, ELISA, in vivo colitis modeling, & murine necropsy

Awards

A.D. Sobel Trainee Scholar Award, American Society for Investigative Pathology, 2021

Yale Healthcare Case Competition First Place Winner, 2021

Joy Cappel Young Investigator Award, Rockland Immunochemicals Inc., 2020

Training Grant in Basic and Translational Digestive Sciences, NIDDK DK094775, 2019-2021

Rackham Research Grant, University of Michigan, 2019

Training Grant in Experimental Immunology, NIAID T32-AI007413, 2018

Abstracts

Smith, M.S., Fan, S., Keeney, J., O’Leary M., Azcutia, V., Nusrat, A., Parkos, CA. JAM-A Signals Through the Hippo Pathway to Regulate Intestinal Epithelial Proliferation. Experimental Biology. Virtual Conference. Apr. 2021. Oral Presentation

Smith, M.S., Azcutia, V., Fan, S., Nusrat, A., Parkos, CA. Neutrophil JAM-L and Epithelial CAR Signaling Regulate Transepithelial Migration of Neutrophils. University of Michigan Mucosal Immunology Local Chapter Symposium. Ann Arbor, MI. Mar. 2020. Poster Presentation.

Smith, M.S., Azcutia, V., Fan, S., Nusrat, A., Parkos, CA. Neutrophil JAM-L and Epithelial CAR Signaling Regulate Transepithelial Migration of Neutrophils. Pathobiology for Investigators Students and Academicians (PISA). Ann Arbor, MI. Oct. 2018. Poster Presentation.

Gower J.R., Zhang Y., Wang Y., Ferraro K., Smith M.S., Thistlethwaite P. Monoclonal Antibody Inhibition of the NOTCH3 Signaling Pathway Effectively Reverses Pulmonary Hypertension in Rodent Models of Disease. American Thoracic Society International Conference. Washington D.C., MD. May 2017.

Smith, M.S., Wothe, J., Haberman, A. Light Dependent Endolysosomal Defects in a Photoreceptor Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Drosophila Genetics Conference. San Diego, CA. April 2017. Poster Presentation.