Theodore R. Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology


CII-110 502–852–3993

Education

Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, Miami University (1992)

Research Areas and Special Projects

The human envirome is the totality of environmental conditions that affect an individual.  It is the sum total of the external conditions that effectuate and regulate the translation of the genome to the phenome across an individual lifespan. It comprises of an interactive set of natural, social and personal domains of the external environment. Eviromics, the study of the Envirome and it is relation to health outcomes, is an emerging field with deep roots in environmental health and toxicology. Like its cousin discipline of genomics,  rapid evolution of sensor and data technologies help us “sequence” or characterize the envirome. Our Center for Healthy Air Water and Soil within the Envirome Institute is focused on research that addresses the promotion of human health in urban environments. Many projects within the Institute share a focus on the biophilia hypothesis that suggests our fundamental affiliation with our broader ecology mediates disease risk. Several of these projects require sensor and data technologies, not only sensors for monitoring ambient particulate matter, noise pollution and air toxics, but also for measuring physical activity or personal biometric data.   We plan to develop comprehensive and integrative approaches for acquiring environmental and individual-level data that could inform and enable new types of community-based observational or clinical studies.   Given this multidisciplinary approach, we will collaborate extensively with community, civil and business leadership.  The experience gathered from such interactions will be useful in developing research translation abilities for communications with both community members and our federal partners within the Superfund program.  Overall, to support the Envirome initiative and the development of the Center for Healthy, Air, Water, and Soil, the early focus is on scientific research in the areas of urban development and health and novel approaches for measuring and assessing different domains of the envirome (sensors, new data sources). A second area of focus  is the development of new models and frameworks for communicating scientific knowledge to the lay public, other academics, healthcare industry, policy makers and other stakeholders.