B.S., Biology, New College of Florida
Ph.D., Zoology, Duke University
Area(s) of Expertise
Research in Prof. Smith’s laboratory centers on cellular and biochemical changes that regulate insect growth and development. Within this broad interest, she has focused on the action of molt-stimulating and growth-regulating hormones produced by the insect brain. Prof. Smith use caterpillars of the sphinx moth, Manduca sexta, as my experimental animals as they are large and easy to maintain in the laboratory. Recent work in the lab has focused on interactions between insect insulin-like hormones and metamorphosis-stimulating insect steroids such as ecdysone. The functions and cellular actions of vertebrate and invertebrate hormones have been remarkably conserved, thus, what we learn about insect hormones will enhance our understanding of how animals coordinate growth with major developmental changes. In addition, by understanding the ways in which insect hormones work to regulate development, we may be able to devise safe and specific agents to disrupt the insect life cycle and thus to control agricultural pests and disease vectors.
433 Richards Hall