Stephen T. Smale is a molecular immunologist and molecular biologist who arrived at UCLA in 1990 as an Assistant Professor. In 1999, he was promoted to Professor and, in 2014, to Distinguished Professor, in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, which spans the UCLA College of Letters and Science and the David Geffen School of Medicine. From 1990 to 2007, he was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Smale graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University, with Honors and Distinction in Chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Tjian. He then was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellow with Nobelist Dr. David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. At UCLA, Dr. Smale previously served as Vice Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, Director of Basic and Translational Research for the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program at UCLA, Director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and founding Chair of the School of Medicine's Research Initiative in Immunity, Inflammation, infection, and Transplantation (I3T). From 2015-2021, he served as Vice Dean for Research in the David Geffen School of Medicine. He currently serves as Senior Scientific Officer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as a member of the editorial advisory boards for the journals Immunity, Genes & Development, and Trends in Immunology.
The research in Dr. Smale's lab is diverse and spans the areas of gene regulation, inflammation, molecular immunology, stem cell biology, and leukemogenesis. A major interest is the molecular mechanisms of pro-inflammatory gene regulation, with an emphasize on the genomic logic through which signaling pathways, transcription factors, and chromatin structure orchestrate selective inflammatory and innate immune responses to a broad range of microbial and environmental threats.