Emer M. Smyth, PhD

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Emer Smyth, PhD, joined the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in November 2016 as director of cancer research alliances and assistant dean for cancer research. Born and raised in Ireland, Smyth received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science and PhD in Pharmacology from the National University of Ireland’s University College Dublin. Before coming to HICCC, Smyth worked at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as director of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) translational research grant programs where she managed the administration and scientific review and oversight of US and international “Dream Team” multimillion dollar grants, as well as other funding models. She provided scientific administrative and communications support to SU2C and their funding partners, as well as SU2C scientists and Scientific Advisory Committees, across all phases of program launch, evaluation, selection, and post-award review. Prior to her time with the AACR, Smyth was a research associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where her group investigated a family of inflammatory lipid mediators in breast cancer and vascular disease. She has contributed close to 50 peer-reviewed research publications, scholarly reviews, and chapters over the course of her career thus far. At the HICCC, Smyth manages and directs the operations that establish, enable, and support the discovery efforts of the Celgene Cancer Drug Discovery Consortium. More broadly, she enhances the scope and impact of cancer research at Columbia by supporting development of large scale funding programs in cancer research and increasing awareness of CUMC’s cancer research and care programs, within and beyond Columbia. As a faculty member in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Emer contribute to mentorship and enhances and supports the department’s goals for research and education.

Email: es3551@cumc.columbia.edu

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Cancer Research Alliances
  • Assistant Dean for Cancer Research


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1990 Pharmacology, National University Ireland Dublin
  • PhD, 1994 Pharmacology, National University Ireland Dublin

Honors & Awards

1990-1994: Forbairt (Irish Science and Technology agency), Basic Research Grant, The Wellcome Trust, Research Assistantship

1997,1999: Traveling Fellowships, Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2004-2005: University Research Foundation Award, University of Pennsylvania

2005-2006: Abramson Cancer Center Pilot Project Award, University of Pennsylvania

2007-2008: Chemical Biology in Translation Pilot Award, Transdisciplinary Program in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania

2013-2014: Translational Biomedical Imaging Center (TBIC) Pilot Award

2013-2014: Joseph and Josephine Rabinowitz Award for Excellent in Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine