Brenda Smith, PhD, serves as the department’s Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research. She previously was a Regents Professor and served as an Associate Dean at Oklahoma State University, where she earned her PhD in 1999.
The Smith Lab relocated to Indianapolis in 2022, when Smith joined the IU School of Medicine faculty.
The lab utilizes basic, translational and clinical approaches to understand how nutrition’s influence on the immune system impacts women’s health and aging. Much of the lab’s work has focused on studying certain types of bioactive components in foods that alter immune cells and their regulation of bone metabolism in postmenopausal osteoporosis. More recently, the lab has investigated the use of prebiotics to counter alterations in the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system induced by changes in estrogen status.
Smith has served on a study section for the National Institute of Health, which evaluated grant applications focused on musculoskeletal health. She has also served as a co-lead for the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health, Lifestyle Modification Research Team.