Resume

Work Address:
Richard Smrt
Dept. of Neuroscience
Gould-Simpson Bldg. Rm. 611
1040 E. 4th Street
Tucson AZ 85721
Email:
Web:
Phone:
Updated:
contact me
www.richardsmrt.com
(520) 621-6629
12-27-12

CURRENT APPOINTMENT

2011-present: NIH Postdoctoral Excellence in Research and Teaching (PERT) fellow, University of Arizona, Department of Neuroscience. Research Advisor: Dr. Chuck Higgins. Primary research focus: Long-term Monitoring of Sleep for Improved Health.

EDUCATION

Aug. 1999-Dec. 2003: B.S. in Psychology & Minor in Biology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico. Concentration in Neuroscience.
April 2004-May 2005: Registered student, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
August 2005-Dec. 2010: PhD, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM.

RESEARCH

2000-2003: Research Assistant, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Department of Psychology. Lab Instructor: Dr. Robert Holson

Project 1: To establish a rat model of IQ analysis using extensive standard behavioral testing.

Project 2: To analyze the effect of Enriched Housing Environments on rat behavior.

June 2003-August 2003: Research Assistant University of New Mexico, Department of Psychology. Supervisor: Nariman Arfai, graduate student, Dept of Psychology.

Project: To investigate lesion-induced neurogenesis in rat brains using morphometric measurements and statistical analysis.

April 2004-August 2005: Staff /Laboratory Technician, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences. Supervisor/Principal Investigator: Dr. Xinyu Zhao, Assistant Professor

Duties: Establishing and maintaining the histology portion of the laboratory, maintaining general laboratory supplies and animal logs, maintaining lab web page and database, and collecting experimental data for 2 ongoing grants and 5 grant applications.

Leadership: Supervised 3 undergraduate students and trained one rotating graduate student on histological techniques.

Project 1: To understand how genetic mutations affect maturation of new neurons in postnatal mouse brains using fluorescent imaging and quantification. (SFN 2005; Smrt et al., 2007, Neurobiology of Disease).

Project 2: To optimize migration of neural stem cells in rat stoke model using stereotaxic grafting and magnetic resonance imaging (the preliminary data was used in an NIH/COBRE grant renewal)

2005-2011: PhD Graduate Student Research Assistant, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences. Thesis advisor: Dr. Xinyu Zhao.  Dissertation research: EPIGENETIC REGULATION OF NEURONAL MATURATION: The effect of MeCP2 and MicroRNAs on the maturation of hippocampal neurons.

2011-current: NIH Postdoctoral Excellence in Research and Teaching (PERT) fellow, University of Arizona, Department of Neuroscience. Research Advisor: Dr. Chuck Higgins. Primary research focus: Long-term Monitoring of Sleep for Improved Health. IRB approved for human subject research.

TEACHING

2013: Adjunct Professor – Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus, Tucson AZ. Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 201).

TEACHING DEVELOPMENT
2011 – NIH‐IRACDA research/teaching conference hosted by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
2012 – The Center for Insect Sciences organized teaching workshop taught by Dr. Ed Prather, University of Arizona.
2013 – NIH‐IRACDA research/teaching conference hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
2011 ‐ 2013 PERT Post‐doc Pedagogy Workshops at University of Arizona, and training at Pima Community College on teaching diverse student populations.

MENTORING

Undergraduate students:
2004-2006: Julia Eaves-Egenes, Psychology major. UNM. 2005-2006 worked as a full-time research 2005 technician in the lab; 2006, entered medical school at Univ of Auckland (New Zealand).
2009: Nick Santistevan (Minority Student), Biology Honor Student; 2005-2006, work-study student; 2007-2009, MARC trainee. UNM. Current position: NIH Post-Bac program trainees NIH/NIA.
2007-2010: Rebecca Pfeifer, Biology honor student; IMSD trainee. UNM. Started in PhD program at Univ Utah (Aug 2010).
2011-2012: Megan Josey, MCB undergraduate. University of Arizona. Currently graduated (May 2012).
2012-2013: Jessica Williams, MCB undergraduate. Univeristy of Arizona and PIMA.

Medical Students and Residents:
2005: Roberto Jordan, UNM School of Medicine Class of 2007; mentor for his med school research project.

PUBLICATIONS

Basam Z. Barkho, Hongjun Song, James B. Aimone, Richard D. Smrt, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Fred H. Gage, and Xinyu Zhao. Identification of astrocyte-expressed factors that modulate neural stem/progenitor cell differentiation. Stem Cell and Dev. 2006.

Zhao X, Pak C, Smrt RD, Jin P. “Epigenetics and Neural Developmental Disorders” Epigenetics 2007 Apr;2(2):130-138. (invited meeting review).

Richard D Smrt, Julia Eaves, Basam Barkho, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Fred H Gage, and Xinyu Zhao. Mecp2 deficiency leads to delayed maturation and altered gene expression in hippocampal neurons. Neurobiol. of Diseases 2007 Jul;27(1):77-89.

Li X., Barkho BZ, Luo Y, Smrt RD, Liu C, Kuwabara T, Gage FH, and Zhao X#. Epigenetic regulation of stem cell mitogen FGF-2 by Mbd1 in adult neural stem/progenitor cells. J. Biol. Chem. 2008. 283(41):27644-52. PMCID: PMC2562066

Szulwach KE*, Li X* (*, equal contribution), Smrt RD, Li Y, Luo Y, Li L, Lin L, Santistevan NJ, Li W, Zhao X#., and Jin P# (#, co-corresponding author). Crosstalk between microRNA and epigenetic regulation in adult neurogenesis. J. Cell Biology 2010 Apr 5;189(1):127-41).

Luo Y*, Shan G*, Guo W* (*, equal contribution), Smrt RD&, Johnson EB& (&,equal contribution), Li X, Pfeiffer RL, Szulwach KE, Duan R, Barkho BZ, Li W, Liu C, Jin P and Zhao X. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates proliferation and differentiation of adult neural stem/progenitor cells. PLoS Genetics 2010 Apr 8;6(4):e1000898.

Richard D. Smrt, Keith E. Szulwach, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Xuekun Li, Weixiang Guo, Manavendra Pathania, Zhao-Qian Teng, Yuping Luo, Junmin Peng, Angelique Bordey, Peng Jin and Xinyu Zhao. MicroRNA miR-137 regulates neuronal maturation by targeting ubiquitin ligase Mind Bomb-1. Stem Cells 2010 Jun;28(6):1060-70.

Smrt RD and Zhao X. Epigenetic regulation of neuronal dendritic spine development. Frontiers in Biology 2010 Aug;5(4);304-323.

Richard D. Smrt, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, and Xinyu Zhao. Age-Dependent Expression of MeCP2 in a Novel Heterozygous Mosaic Mouse Model. Hum Mol Genet. 2011 May 1;20(9):1834-43.

Richard D. Smrt, Sara A. Lewis, Robert Kraft, Linda L. Restifo. Primary Neuronal Culture of Drosophila Larval Neurons followed by Morphological Quantification with NeuronMetrics. In progress 2013.

Richard D. Smrt, Theran Cochran, Charles M. Higgins. Long-term Monitoring of Sleep for Improved Health. In progress 2013.

ABSTRACTS AND PRESENTATIONS

Abstracts:

Basam Barkho, Hongjun Song, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Richard D Smrt, Fred H Gage, and Xinyu Zhao*. Identification of astrocytes-expressed factors that affect neural stem/progenitor cell lineage determination. 34th Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, October 2004, San Diego, CA.

Julialee Eaves*, Richard Smrt, Basam Barkho, Fred Gage, Xinyu Zhao. “Function of MeCP2 in Post-natal Neurogenesis and Neuronal Maturation.” Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, November 2004, UNM, Albuquerque NM.

Richard D. Smrt*, Julialee Eaves, Basam Z. Barkho, Chunmei Zhao, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Fred H Gage, and Xinyu Zhao. “Function of MeCP2 in postnatal neurogenesis and neuronal maturation.” 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, November 2005, Washington DC.

Richard D. Smrt*, Julialee Eaves, Basam Z. Barkho, Chunmei Zhao, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Fred H Gage, and Xinyu Zhao. “MeCP2 in postnatal neurogenesis and neuronal maturation.” UNM Neuroscience Day, March 2006, UNM, Albuquerque NM.

Richard D. Smrt, Nicholas J. Santistevan*, Julialea Eaves-Egenes, Basam Z. Barkho, Chunmei Zhao, James B. Aimone, Fred H. Gage, Xinyu Zhao. “MeCP2 is an epigenetic regulator critical to neuronal maturation in brain development.” UNM Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, April 2007, UNM, Albuquerque NM (Poster winner).

Rebecca Pfeiffer*, Richard D. Smrt, Yuping Luo, Xuekun Li, Keith Szulwach, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. “Mecp2 regulates expression of microRNAs that are critical for neuronal development.” UNM undergraduate research and creativity symposium, spring 2008.

Richard D. Smrt*, Rebecca Pfeiffer, Yuping Luo, Xuekun Li, Keith Szulwach, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. “MeCP2 regulates expression of microRNAs that are critical for neuronal maturation and dendritic morphology.” UNM Neuroscience Day, March 2008, UNM, Albuquerque NM.

Richard D. Smrt*, Rebecca Pfeiffer*, Xinyu Zhao. “Effect of Mecp2 on X-chromosome Inactivation in the Brain.” October 2008 SACNAS conference.

Richard D. Smrt*, Rebecca Pfeiffer, Xinyu Zhao. “Effect of Mecp2 mutation on X-Chromosome inactivation in a novel mouse model of Rett syndrome.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, November 2008, Washington DC.

Richard D. Smrt, Rebecca Pfeiffer, Yuping Luo, Xuekun Li, Keith Szulwach, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. “MeCP2 regulates expression of microRNAs that are critical for neuronal maturation and dendritic morphology.” UNM Neuroscience Day, March 2009, UNM, Albuquerque NM.

Richard D. Smrt*, Keith E. Szulwach, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Xuekun Li, Weixiang Guo, Manavendra Pathania, Yuping Luo, Junmin Peng, Michael C. Wilson, Angelique Bordey, Peng Jin and Xinyu Zhao. “MicroRNA miR-137 regulates neuronal maturation by targeting ubiquitin ligase Mind Bomb-1.” UNM Neuroscience Day, March 2010, UNM, Albuquerque NM.

Richard D. Smrt*, Keith E. Szulwach, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Xuekun Li, Weixiang Guo, Manavendra Pathania, Yuping Luo, Junmin Peng, Michael C. Wilson, Angelique Bordey, Peng Jin and Xinyu Zhao. “MicroRNA miR-137 regulates neuronal maturation by targeting ubiquitin ligase Mind Bomb-1.” American Society for Neurochemistry. March 6-10, 2010. Santa Fe, NM. Oral Presentation.

Richard D. Smrt*, Keith E. Szulwach, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Xuekun Li, Weixiang Guo, Manavendra Pathania, Yuping Luo, Junmin Peng, Michael C. Wilson, Angelique Bordey, Peng Jin and Xinyu Zhao. “MicroRNA miR-137 regulates neuronal maturation by targeting ubiquitin ligase Mind Bomb-1.” Student Travel Award recipient, Keystone Symposia “Synapse: formation, function, and misfunction” April 11-15, 2010. Snowbird, Utah. Poster Presentation.

Richard D. Smrt*, Theran Cochran, Raymond A. Sanchez, Caroline E. Farmer, Danielle Ruburto, Brian T. McElroy, Lucia Morvay, Jessica Elaine, Brittney E. Forbeck, Tzyy-Juin Kao, Charles M. Higgins. “Long-Term Monitoring of Sleep for Improved Health.” Mind, Brain, and Behavior (MBB) Poster Session, April 8th, 2013. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Invited oral presentations:

Richard D.Smrt. Imaging eGFP expressing mature granule cell neurons in the mouse hippocampus using confocal microscopy. October 2005. Microscopy Facility Open House, Cancer Research and Training Center, UNM.

Richard D. Smrt, Julialee Eaves, Basam Z. Barkho, Chunmei Zhao, Tomoko Kuwabara, Kinichi Nakashima, Fred H Gage, and Xinyu Zhao. “MeCP2 in postnatal neurogenesis and neuronal maturation.” UNM BSGP Student Research Day, March 2006, UNM, Albuquerque NM (2nd place poster winner).

Richard D. Smrt. MeCP2 regulates expression of microRNAs that are critical for neuronal maturation and dendritic morphology. Alcohol research retreat, UNM School of Medicine. May 2009. Albuquerque, NM.

AWARDS and FELLOWSHIPS

Imaging Award. Second place winner in the category “Confocal, single plane, three channel image” in the UNM Microscopy Facility Imaging Competition. January 2007. The image was then published in the UNMHSC Pathology newsletter.

Imaging Award. Multiple award winner at the 2008 Microscopy Facility Imaging Competition, 1st Place: Widefield Fluorescence, 1st Place: Confocal Z-series, single channel (single-image projection), 2nd Place: Confocal Z-series, two channels (single-image projection), 1st Place: Confocal Z-series, three channels (single-image projection), 2nd Place: Confocal Single Plane, three fluorescence channels.

Minority Supplement Fellowship to RO1MH080434-01. Zhao (Mentor) 06/01/2008-12/31/2010NIH/NIMH “Translational regulation of neuronal maturation and survival by Mecp2 and small RNAs” The goal of this project is to investigate how Mecp2 regulation of noncoding small RNA is involved in neuronal maturation in the postnatal brains. nRole (Graduate student trainee)

Travel Award. Meeting Assistant Travel Award, Keystone Symposia “Epigenetic Basis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders” March 6-10, 2009. Keystone, Colorado. Awarded money for travel, and submitted a meeting report.

Mental Health Dissertation Research Grant to Increase Diversity (R36). “Mecp2 Regulation of microRNA is Important for Neuronal Maturation.”  NIH/NIMH Awarded in Feb, 2010. I declined due to upcoming graduation.

Travel Award. Student Travel Award, Keystone Symposia “Synapse: formation, function, and misfunction” April 11-15, 2010. Snowbird, Utah.

NIH Postdoctoral Excellence in Research and Teaching (IRACDA/PERT) fellowship
. 3 Year postdoc with teaching. University of Arizona, Department of Neuroscience. April 2011 – June 2013. Tucson, AZ.

RESEARCH SKILLS

• Software, programming, and Information Systems:

o Proficient with image processing and statistical software NIH ImageJ, Microbrightfield Stereo Investigator and Neurolucida, AxioVision, MS Office and Excel, Prism Graphpad, and SPSS.
o Operating systems: Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOSX, Ubuntu Linux, and others.
o Designed and built multiple data storage and database systems for research labs at University of New Mexico School of Medicine Dept. of Neurosciences, University of Arizona Dept. of Neuroscience. Designed and built a “super” computer, funded by my grant, to process large amounts of raw human brainwave data.
o Designed and implemented a SQL database for human subjects research at University of Arizona.
o Proficient with Adobe Photoshop for scientific illustrations and color figures. Decades of experience using Adobe Software such as After Effects and Premiere (video editing), Illustrator (vector art for scientific illustrations), and many other Adobe Creative Cloud software.

• Human Subject Research: use of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (based on the DSM-IV) to generate psychiatric profiles, generating and implementing psychological surveys, recruiting human subjects, writing IRB proposals, and maintaining compliance with university and national IRB guidelines.
• Animal Husbandry: small mammals (mice/rats), fruit flies. All animal work was first approved by and performed in compliance with IACUC and federal regulations.
• Animal Behavior: Standard behavioral testing of rodents including administration of the Morris Water Maze, Radial 8-Arm Maze, Barnes Maze, and visual discrimination.
• Animal Surgery: Mammalian anesthesia, euthanasia, and neurosurgery. Intravenous, subcutaneous, and Intraperitoneal injection and drug delivery. Intracranial stereotaxic microinjection and recovery surgery. Transcardial perfusion.
• Animal and insect dissection: Rodent and insect brain extraction. Microdissection and isolation of rodent and insect brain subregions (eg. Hippocampus, striatum, cortex, cerebellum, etc).
• Cell culture: In vitro neuronal culture of hippocampal and cortical neurons from embryonic and adult mouse and rat. In vitro neuronal culture of larvae and adult Drosophila (fruit fly). Other cell lines such as Human HEK293, Mouse 3T3, and embryonic and adult neural stem cells. Experience using a variety of transfection techniques with each of these cell lines.
• Histology: immunohistochemistry, tissue sectioning (microtome, cryostat), western blot.
• Microscopy: General bright field and standard fluorescent microscopy, stereology microscopy and laser confocal microscopy (training by Dr. Dan Peterson, Chicago, IL ), and 2-photon microscopy (training by Dr. John Connor, Albuquerque, NM).
• Photography and imaging: Designed and constructed a dSLR camera system to interface with a microscope capable of high resolution macro photography for imaging phenotype and features of Drosophila, and High Definition high speed video capture of Drosophila behavior (University of Arizona, Center for Insect Science).
• Many other basic lab and research skills

2 Comments

2 Responses to Resume

  1. Gerard Martens says:

    I would very much appreciate it if you could send me a pdf of your article: Smrt RD and Zhao X. Epigenetic regulation of neuronal dendritic spine development. Frontiers in Biology 2010 Aug;5(4);304-323
    and also a pdf of:
    Richard D. Smrt Dept. of Neurosciences UNMHSC; NM-INBRE/Biology Seminar Series, New Mexico Tech. October 4, 2010; Epigenetic Regulation OF Neuronal Maturation: The effect of MeCP2 and MicroRNAs on the maturation of hippocampal neurons.

    Thank you very much in advance

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