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Dr. Alec Smith is currently an Acting Instructor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at The University of Washington. Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D in Tissue Engineering from University College, London (UK) in 2012 before moving to the United States to pursue a career in biomedical research.

By integrating human tissue engineering and cell culture with advanced methods for assaying electrophysiological and contractile function, he aims to develop novel platforms with which to improve the predictive capacity of current preclinical toxicity screening and disease modeling technologies. To date, Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and referenced conference proceedings, as well as 3 book chapters, and his papers have been cited over 1,100 times. In addition, he has filed 5 patents (issued or pending) based on his research.

Dr. Smith has been the recipient of a number of awards, including The UK Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Award (2007), The University of Washington Innovator Showcase Award (2016), The Jaconette L. Tietze Young Scientist Award (2017), and The University of Washington’s Institute for Translational Health Science KL2 Career Development Award (2017). Dr. Smith is an editorial board member for the biomedical engineering journal Cells Tissues Organs and an Associate Faculty Member for F1000. He has also served as reviewer for a number of journals, including Muscle & Nerve, Drug Safety, and The Journal of Laboratory Automation.



  • Electrophysiology, molecular biology, and tissue engineering, with a particular focus on muscle and neuronal tissues
  • Development of novel 2D and 3D culture systems for assessing nerve and muscle performance, and the analysis of physiological interactions between multiple cell types in vitro