Welcome to the Smith Laboratory!

Host-Pathogen Kinetics of Influenza-Pneumococcal Coinfections

● Model-Driven Experimentation ● Data-Driven Modeling ●
● Infection Dynamics ● Integrative Analysis ●
● Mathematical Virology, Bacteriology, and Immunology ●

We study host-pathogen interactions using an integrated approach that combines data-driven mathematical models and model-driven experiments. We specialize in developing and calibrating mathematical models of viral, bacterial, and host immune kinetics using high-quality, quantitative data. We then design and carry out experiments to test our analytical predictions. We use this method to understand the complex pathogen and immune dynamics during influenza virus infections, pneumococcal infections, and influenza-pneumococcal coinfections.

Positions Available


Dr. Amber Smith, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Institute for the Study of Host-Pathogen Systems at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is a quantitative biologist trained in both Applied Mathematics and Experimental Microbiology and Immunology. She received her Ph.D. from the Mathematical Biology program at the University of Utah under the mentorship of Dr. Fred Adler. She did her postdoctoral training in Biophysics and Theoretical Biology at the Los Alamos National Laboratory with Dr. Alan Perelson and in Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Dr. Jon McCullers.

Recent Publications

Kumar, A, Kodidela, S, Tadrous, E, Cory, TJ, Walker, CMM, Smith, AM, Mukherjee, A and Kumar, S (2020). Extracellular Vesicles in Viral Replication and Pathogenesis and Their Potential Role in Therapeutic Intervention. Viruses 12(8), 887. doi: 10.3390/v12080887

Penkert, RR, Smith, AP, Hrinicius, ER, McCullers, JA, Vogel, P, Smith, AM, and Hurwitz, JL  (2020). Vitamin A deficiency dysregulates immune responses toward influenza virus and increases mortality after bacterial coinfections. J Infect Dis (in press)

Jenner, AL, Aogo, RA, Davis, CL, Smith, AM, and Craig, M  (2020). Leveraging Computational Modeling to Understand Infectious Diseases. Curr Pathobiol Rep. doi: 10.1007/s40139-020-00213-x

Wang, Y, An, G, Becker, A, Cockrell, C, Collier, N, Craig, M, Davis, C, Faeder, J, Ford Versypt, AN, Gianlupi1, JF, Glazier, JA, Heiland, R, Hillen, T, Islam, MA, Jenner, A, Liu, B, Morel, PA, Narayanan, A, Ozik, J, Rangamani, P, Shoemaker, JE, Smith, AM, Macklin, P (2020). Rapid Community-Driven Development of a SARS-CoV-2 Tissue Simulator. Preprint

Ward, CE, Kimura D, Saini, A, Smith, AM, West, AN, Goedecke, PJ, Tolley, EA, Cormier, SA, DeVincenzo, JP. (2019) Longitudinal Viral Kinetics and Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure Severity in Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Infected Children. (submitted)

Smith, AP, Lane, LC, Moquin, DJ, van Opijnen, T, Woolard, S, Carter, R, Iverson, A, Burnham, C, Vogel, P, Roeber, D, Hochu, G, Johnson, MDL, McCullers, JA, Rosch, JR, Smith, AM* (2019). Dynamic Pneumococcal Genetic Adaptations Support Bacterial Growth and Inflammation During Coinfection with Influenza. (submitted) Preprint

Myers, MA, Smith, AP, Lane, LC, Moquin, DJ, Vogel, P, Woolard, S, and Smith, AM* (2019). Dynamically Linking Influenza Virus Infection with Lung Injury to Predict Disease Severity. (submitted) Preprint; SIAM News Article

Gaur, AH, McCarthy, JS, Panetta JC, Dallas, R., Woodford, J, Tang, Li, Smith, AM, Stewart, TB, Branum, KC, Freeman III, BB, Patel, ND, John, E, Chalon, S, Ost, S, Heine, RN, Richardson, JL, Christensen, R, Flynn, PM, Van Gessel, Y, Mitasev, B, Möhrle, JJ, Gusovsky, F, Bebrevska, L, Guy, RK (2020). Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Antimalarial Efficacy of a Novel Plasmodium falciparum ATP4 Inhibitor (SJ733): A First-in-Human and Induced Blood Stage Malaria Phase 1a/ 1b Study. Lancet Infect Dis20(8), 964-975 doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30611-5

Chung, M, Binois, M, Gramacy, RB, Moquin, DJ, Smith, AP, and Smith, AM (2019). Parameter and Uncertainty Estimation for Dynamical Systems Using Surrogate Stochastic Processes. SIAM J Sci Computing 41(4), A2212–A2238.

Rodriguez, A, McCullers, JA, Smith, AM, Kanneganti, T, Lupfer, CR* (2019). Enhanced IL-1β production is mediated by a TLR2-MYD88-NLRP3 signaling axis during coinfection with influenza A virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. PLoS One 14(2): e0212236. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212236

2014 Editorial