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Madhur, Smith set to deliver fall season’s first Discovery Lecture

Aug. 23, 2018, 9:29 AM


The Flexner Discovery Lecture series kicks off the academic year next week with presentations by two Vanderbilt faculty members. The Cutting-Edge Discovery Lectures by Meena Madhur, MD, PhD, and Scott Smith, MD, PhD, begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30 in 208 Light Hall.

Meena Madhur, MD, PhD

Madhur, assistant professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, will discuss “A novel LNK between inflammation, hypertension and aortic dissection.”

Smith, assistant professor of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, will discuss “Therapeutic repurposing of human IgE monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).”

Madhur earned her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Virginia and completed residency training at Duke University and a cardiology fellowship at Emory University. She joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2012.

Madhur is exploring how the human immune system contributes to hypertension (high blood pressure). She and others have demonstrated that immune system cells produce factors called cytokines that elevate blood pressure, alter organ function and contribute to potentially fatal end-organ damage.

Scott Smith, MD, PhD

Madhur received an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2016 to support her novel studies.

Smith, an infectious diseases specialist, earned his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Louisville and joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2011.

Smith’s research has focused on the generation and study of naturally occurring human monoclonal antibodies. He developed an efficient method for generating such antibodies from B cells isolated from blood.

Smith has recently applied the technology to the study of allergen- and helminth-specific IgE antibody responses. He received a 2017 award from the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund to pursue studies that may aid in the development of helminth vaccines and new allergy therapeutics.

The lectures are sponsored by the Offices of the Executive Vice President for Research and the Dean of Basic Sciences. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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