|2012 ‐ Present||Assistant Professor, Nova Southeastern University ‐ Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography|
|2011 ‐ 2013||Duke Scholar in Infectious Disease, Duke University|
Honors and Awards
- Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program
- Graduate Student Ambassador Award
- Let’s Talk Science National Coordinator Award
- Young Ambassador Scientist Award
- Outstanding Volunteer in a Health Research Program
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship Award
- David and Rachel Epstein Award
- NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship
- Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Society of Chemical Industry
- Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement
|2009 ‐ 2012||Postdoctoral Research Associate, Duke University|
|2005 ‐ 2009||Ph.D., Department of Biology, Carleton University|
|2001 ‐ 2005||B.Sc., Biology and Biotechnology, Carleton University|
Journal articles written or co-written by Dr. Robert P. Smith.
Cooperation and Competition Shape Ecological Resistance During Periodic Spatial Disturbance of Engineered Bacteria Scientific Reports (2017)
Cooperation is fundamental to the survival of many bacterial species. Previous studies have shown that spatial structure can both promote and suppress cooperation. Most environments where bacteria are found are periodically disturbed, which can affect ...
Synthetically Engineered Microbes Reveal Interesting Principles of Cooperation Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering (2017)
Cooperation is ubiquitous in biological systems. However, if natural selection favors traits that confer an advantage to one individual over another, then helping others would be paradoxical. Nevertheless, cooperation persists and is critical in maintaining ...
Antibiotics as a selective driver for conjugation dynamics Nature Microbiology (2016)
It is generally assumed that antibiotics can promote horizontal gene transfer. However, because of a variety of confounding factors that complicate the interpretation of previous studies, the mechanisms by which antibiotics modulate horizontal gene transfer ...
Circumvention of Learning Increases Intoxication Efficacy of Nematicidal Engineered Bacteria ACS Synthetic Biology (2015)
Synthetic biology holds promise to engineer systems to treat diseases. One critical, yet underexplored, facet of designing such systems is the interplay between the system and the pathogen. Understanding this interplay may be critical to ...
Phenotypic Signatures Arising from Unbalanced Bacterial Growth PLoS Computational Biology (2014)
Fluctuations in the growth rate of a bacterial culture during unbalanced growth are generally considered undesirable in quantitative studies of bacterial physiology. Under well-controlled experimental conditions, however, these fluctuations are not random but instead reflect ...
Programmed Allee Effect in Bacteria Causes a Tradeoff Between Population Spread and Survival Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2014)
Dispersal is necessary for spread into new habitats, but it has also been shown to inhibit spread. Theoretical studies have suggested that the presence of a strong Allee effect may account for these counterintuitive observations. ...
Nonself Recognition Through Intermolecular Disulfide Bond Formation of Ribonucleotide Reductase in Neurospora Genetics (2013)
Type I ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) are conserved across diverse taxa and are essential for the conversion of RNA into DNA precursors. In Neurospora crassa, the large subunit of RNR (UN-24) is unusual in that it ...
Trans-Species Activity of a Nonself Recognition Domain BMC Microbiology (2013)
Background: The ability to distinguish nonself from self is a fundamental characteristic of biological systems. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, multiple incompatibility genes mediate nonself recognition during vegetative growth. One of these genes, un-24, ...
The Inoculum Effect and Band-Pass Bacterial Response to Periodic Antiobiotic Treatment Molecular Systems Biology (2012)
The inoculum effect (IE) refers to the decreasing efficacy of an antibiotic with increasing bacterial density. It represents a unique strategy of antibiotic tolerance and it can complicate design of effective antibiotic treatment of bacterial ...
Engineering Microbial Systems to Explore Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2012)
A major goal of biological research is to provide a mechanistic understanding of diverse biological processes. To this end, synthetic biology offers a powerful approach, whereby biological questions can be addressed in a well-defined framework. ...
A Synthetic Biology Approach to Understanding Cellular Information Processing ACS Synthetic Biology (2012)
The survival of cells and organisms requires proper responses to environmental signals. These responses are governed by cellular networks, which serve to process diverse environmental cues. Biological networks often contain recurring network topologies called “motifs”. ...
Design Principles and Applications of Engineered Microbial Consortia Acta Horticulturae (2011)
Synthetic biology has generated countless examples of novel behavior in bacteria. Through a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental analyses, researchers utilize engineered genetic circuits to predict and control bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. However, ...
Secondary Assays for Testing the Mode of Action of Natural Products with Bioactivity Against Fungi Pharmaceutical Biology (2008)
Identification of novel antifungals is needed, and plant-derived compounds offer important leads in this respect. This article initiates a compendium of secondary assays for testing hypotheses on mode of action of plant-derived compounds. Three assays ...
Effect of Silane Concentration on Resin Bond Strength of Zirconia Health Professions Division Research Day (2012)
Objective. To compare resin bond strength of zirconia using different concentrations of silane. Background. Silanes are commonly used in dentistry to enhance resin bonding of tribochemical-coated zirconia. However, there is no information on the optimal ...
Three-Body Wear of Glazed and Veneered Zirconia Health Professions Division Research Day (2012)
Objective. To evaluate three-body wear of glazes, applied to dental zirconia, with different coefficients of thermal expansion. Methods. Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) plates (12x15x2mm) were divided into 4 groups (n=8/group): 1) YSZ, surface polished through to ...
The Effect of Surface Modification on the Microtensile Bond Strength of Zirconia Ceramics Health Professions Division Research Day (2010)
Objective. To determine the long-term microtensile bond strength of zirconia, which has been silica-coated using a novel technique, to dual-cured resin cement. Background. Earlier research has shown that one of the major clinical problems with ...
Interviews and refereed conference proceedings (5)
Interview with Robert Smith Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures (2016)
Online Podcast discussing March article with ACS Synthetic Biology "Circumvention of Learning Increases Intoxication Efficacy of Nematicidal Engineered Bacteria." Abstract from article: Synthetic biology holds promise to engineer systems to treat diseases. One critical, yet ...
Modeling and simulation of Caenorhabditis elegans chemotaxis in response to a dynamic engineered bacteria Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures (2015)
Parasitic helminthes remain important causative agents of human, plant and animal diseases. Helminthes seek out food sources and navigate toward potential hosts using olfaction of simple chemical cues in a process called chemoattraction. While several ...
Modern Approaches to Understanding Antifungal Activity of Traditional Medicines Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures (2005)
The need to develop new antimicrobials is at the forefront of medical research. The approach of using ethnobotanical leads to identify compounds with antimicrobial activity is of particular interest as these remedies have been used ...
Books and Book Contributions (5)
Book and book contributions written or co-written by Dr. Robert P. Smith.
Chapter 12: Engineering Cell-to-Cell Communication to Explore Fundamental Questions in Ecology and Evolution Biology Faculty Books and Book Chapters (2015)
Synthetic biology has created countless examples of gene circuits that lead to novel behavior in cells. While the technological applications of these circuits, in terms of their use in medicine, industry, and to study systems ...
Engineering Cell-to-Cell Communication to Explore Fundamental Questions in Ecology and Evolution Biology Faculty Books and Book Chapters (2015)
Quorum sensing (QS) describes a chemical communication behavior that is nearly universal among bacteria. Individual cells release a diffusible small molecule (an autoinducer) into their environment. A high concentration of this autoinducer serves as a ...