Stephen T. Smale, Ph.D., is a molecular immunologist and biochemist who joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1990 as an assistant professor. In 1999, he was promoted to full professor in the newly formed Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, which spans the UCLA College of Letters and Science and the David Geffen School of Medicine, and for which he is currently vice chair. In addition, he is co-director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D.-Ph.D. Program) and co-director of UCLA's Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Education Program.
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 as a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Tjian. He was then a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellow with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. Following his arrival at UCLA, Dr. Smale served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator for 17 years.
The research in Smale's laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms regulating the rapid activation of genes that contribute to inflammatory and innate immune responses. The goal of this research is to aid in the development of new anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. Smale’s lab also has long-standing interests in lymphocyte differentiation and leukemogenesis, with special interest in a regulator of gene expression that contributes to the progression of a large fraction of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemias (B-ALL). Most recently, Smale’s lab has contributed to an understanding of the mechanisms by which embryonic stem cells establish competence for the expression of tissue-specific genes.
Smale also serves on the editorial boards of three journals, Immunity, Genes & Development and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.