Faculty Profiles

Cassandra Smith

Cassandra L. Smith

Professor of Biology, Biomedical Engineering, and Pharmacology
Director, Molecular Biotechnology Research Laboratory
Deputy Director, Center for Advanced Biotechnology

PhD, Texas A&M University, 1974
Areas of interest: schizophrenia; breast cancer; molecular biotechnology and diagnosis; twin studies
(617) 353-8503

Current Research

Dr. Smith’s research brings novel approaches at the interface of genomics/genetic and biotechnology to complex disease studies. A major focus is on preventing schizophrenia by understanding how a significant number of monozygotic (aka identical) twins can be discordant for this disease. Another focus is on the development of new DNA technologies for detecting and diagnosing disease. Other research takes a combinatorial chemistry approach to isolate aptamers (single stranded DNA mimics of antibodies) for use as cancer tumor targeting reagents. Here, the goal is to develop effective targeted therapies for cancer treatment and diagnostic modalities while minimizing damage to bystander cells.

Courses Taught

  • BE 565 Molecular Biotechnology
  • EK 130 Engineering Knowledge

Selected Publications

  • Abdolmaleky HM, Smith CL, Zhou RJ, Thiagalingam S. (In Press). “Epigenetic Alterations of Dopaminergic System in Major Psychiatric Disorders” as a book chapter for “Pharmacogenomics in Drug Discovery and Development” Humana Press
  • Nguyen G, Nguyen N, Storm N, Gavras H, Smith CL. (2006). Targeted cDNA Differential Display. Biomolecular Engineering 23, 41-54.
  • Nguyen G, Bukanov N, Oshimura M, Smith CL. (2005). Cloneless Genomic DNA Analysis: An Efficient and Simple Alternative to Clone Libraries for de novo Genomic Sequencing and Gap Filling. Biomolecular Engineering. 21, 135-144.
  • Abdolmaleky HM, Cheng K-H, Russo A, Smith CL, Faraone SV, Shafa R, Wilcox M, Glatt S, Stone WS, Nguyen G, Ponte JF, Thiagalingam S, Tsuang M. (2005). Hypermethylation of the RELN Promoter in the Brain of Schizophrenic Patients: A Preliminary Report. Am. J. Human Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics) 134, 60-66.
  • Abdolmaleky HM, Smith CL, Faraone SV, Shafa R, Stone W, Glatt S, Tsuang M. (2004). Methylomics in Psychiatry: Modulation of Gene-Environment Interaction by DNA Methylation. Am. J. Human Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics). 127B, 51-59.
  • Nguyen G, Bouchard J, Foulon C, Keith L, Baldwin C, Herrera VH, Smith CL. (2003). Genomic Instability and Schizophrenia in Monozygotic Twins. Am. J. Human Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics). 120B, 1-10.

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