- 2013 – 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Section of Neural Gene Expression, NIMH
- 2013 PhD, Neuroscience, Florida State University
- 2009 MA, Psychology, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Dr. Smith's doctoral research discovered a local circuit in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus responsive to environmental stress and social interaction and modulated by the neuropeptide oxytocin. Dr. Smith then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. He joined the University of Kansas in 2016 where he has studied the function of neuropeptide circuits in social behavior and stress. The Smith Lab studies the neuroscience of social attachment by exploring the natural ecology of the socially monogamous prairie vole to identify the mechanisms underlying pair bond formation, social buffering, consoling behavior, and social loss.
Students in his lab learn techniques in neuroscience, genetics, pharmacology, bioanalytics, and animal behavior.