emily a smith

Emily A Smith

  • Professor
  • Chemistry
Our research focuses are instrument development for analysis of nanomaterials, plant and animal tissue; and understanding the molecular events that lead to organization of the cell membrane.


Contact Info

0706 Gilman Hall
2415 Osborn Dr
Social Media and Websites

The main objectives of the Smith research group are accomplished through a combination of analytical measurements, instrument and method development. Our research is divided into three primary areas: (1) biophysical measurements of receptor diffusion, (2) thin film and nanomaterials characterization, and (3) in situ imaging of biomass. Work in all three areas is highly collaborative with research groups across campus. 


Biophysical Measurements of Receptor Diffusion. The overarching objective of work in this area is to reveal mechanisms of crosstalk that involve receptor clustering and diffusion in pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). The two receptors that are the focus of this work are the Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RAGE) and Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4). Both receptors are part of the inflammatory response in the presence of heterogeneously diverse ligands containing damage associated molecule patterns (DAMPs) and pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). 

Thin Film and Nanomaterials Characterization. The goal of the work in this area is to understand the role of nanoscale ordering in ionic liquids (ILs), deep eutectic solvents (DESs) and energy-relevant nanomaterials. The fundamental hypothesis driving research focused on ILs and DESs:  nanodomains are important to many aspects of molecular transport and partitioning that affect separation processes using ILs and DESs; and that these nanodomains can be tuned to control the environment affecting the separation and to develop advanced separations media

In Situ Imaging of Biomass. Work in this area focuses on developing new analysis methods suitable for measuring the nanoscale composition and conversion of biomass. The utilization of biomass as a renewable resource requires a better understanding of the structure of the biomass; without this, low-energy techniques to convert the biomass will not be developed.