Associate Professor Kelly Smith
The University of Melbourne.
A/Prof Kelly Smith a Lab Head in the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne and her group studies the genetics of cardiac development and function. A/Prof Smith undertook her PhD at the University of Melbourne, followed by training in cardiac research with Jeroen Bakkers at the prestigious Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research in the Netherlands. She established her own lab in 2014 at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, and then relocated to the University of Melbourne in 2019. Her research group investigates the early stages of heart formation using both the zebrafish and mouse models. The lab aims to identify new genes required for the heart to form and beat rhythmically. Once identified, research investigates the mechanisms of how these genes function and, for some projects, findings are translated into the mammalian context. Using this approach, mechanisms of inherited diseases are uncovered and it is expected this will assist in the future with genetic diagnoses. By improving our understanding of gene function, it is also anticipated that treatment strategies may be developed.