U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Harold Smith

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-594-6554
Email: harold_smith@nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • Ph.D.Columbia University1995
  • M.Phil.Columbia University1994
  • M.A.Columbia University1990

 Related Links


Harold Smith, Ph.D.

Head, Genomics Core
  • Genetics/Genomics

Research Summary

Research Goal

My field of research is the determination of stem cell fate. I seek to understand the regulation of gene expression that gives rise to a specific type of cell. My model of choice is the germ line of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which produces both sperm and egg.

Current Research

The laboratory provides next-generation sequencing (NGS) service for the NIDDK community.  In my own research, NGS is a tool to define patterns of cell-type-specific gene expression, to characterize chromatin modifications associated with that expression, and to identify mutations that alter cell fate or function.  We also use these NGS data sets for the development and implementation of bioinformatics software for analysis pipelines.

Applying our Research

Stem cells possess the unique ability to develop into other types of cells. The mechanisms that underlie this ability might one day be harnessed for the treatment of developmental defects and degenerative diseases.

Need for Further Study

Currently, we do not understand many of the rules that govern cell fate determination, which limits our ability to apply stem cell treatment toward specific therapeutic ends.