Misty D. Smith, Ph.D.
  • Research Assistant Professor, Pharmacology And Toxicology
  • Research Associate Professor, Sod - Education


  • B.S., Biology, Muskingum University, New Concord, OH
  • Ph.D., Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, S.C.. Project: Influences of Gender and Gonadal Steroids in Modulating Hippocampal Excitability and Epileptogenesis.
  • Postdoctoral Training, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah


Dr. Smith is a behavioral pharmacologist and a co-investigator in the NIH-sponsored Anticonvulsant Drug Development (ADD) Program, where she provide leadership and expertise in all of the preclinical models of acute and chronic seizure activity as well as in the assessment of behavioral comorbidities associated with epilepsy.  Dr. Smith coordinates the management of all regulatory and safety standards and licenses necessary to preserve the ADD Program’s high standards of scientific rigor and excellence in research.  In hopes of better understanding the comorbidities of epilepsy and their underlying mechanisms, Dr. Smith’s evaluates the therapeutic potential of investigational compounds in both acute and chronic preclinical models of seizures, epilepsy and the neuropsychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy.  Dr. Smith’s current research is aimed at the evaluation of the interactions of cannabidiol with various classes of antiseizure drugs utilizing isobolographic and pharmacokinetic analyses.  This research will not only help provide information on the efficacy and safety of unique antiseizure drugs (ASDs), such as cannabidiol, both alone and in combinations with other ASDs utilized in patients with epilepsy. The identification of novel compounds with broad or unique spectrums of therapeutic activity may help to better clarify the etiology of the epilepsy and its comorbidities and the most effective targets for their treatment.  Furthermore, understanding the nature of drug interactions will help identify better and safer drug combinations for the patient with epilepsy.  Additional related research interests include the role of neuropeptides, steroid hormones, and sex differences in neurological conditions and their pharmacological treatment. 

Research Interests

Dr. Smith is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy whom serves as a Co-Investigator in the NIH/NINDS contract site for the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP). Her primary research interests include the evaluation and advancement of novel therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and pain. A focus of her research is the investigation of the therapeutic potential of novel compounds, such as cannabidiol, for the treatment of chronic neurological disorders and their comorbidities, as well identifying potential drug- drug interactions of cannabidiol with other concomitant therapeutics. With nearly two decades experience as a behavioral pharmacologist, Dr. Smith’s research also contributes to ongoing efforts by the ETSP to develop and validate new animal models which can be used to screen and differentiate lead compounds for the treatment of epilepsy. Additional related research interests of Dr. Smith include (1) the pharmacotherapeutic potential of novel neuropeptides in the treatment of chronic pain, substance abuse and other neuropsychiatric conditions and (2) sex differences in disease pathophysiology, behavior and drug responses. In addition to her contributions to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Smith holds a joint appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the Oral Biology, Medicine, and Pathology Section of the School of Dentistry at the University of Utah.