Dr Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith is a Lab head at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. Her research group investigates the early stages of heart development, seeking to identify and understand the function of novel regulators of heart form and function.

Kelly received her PhD in 2005 from the University of Melbourne studying gastrointestinal physiology. She moved to the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands for postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Jeroen Bakkers, studying cardiac development using the zebrafish model. Here she learned large-scale forward and reverse genetic screening approaches, examining both animal models and patient cohorts to identify novel genes and mutations in cardiac development and disease. She returned to Australia in 2010, working under the mentorship of A/Prof Carol Wicking as an IMB Fellow. In 2013, Kelly began her independent research group at the IMB. Kelly’s lab now creates mutants with cardiac defects and, using live imaging, transgenesis and genetic epistasis experimentation, are working to identify new mechanisms of cardiovascular development.