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Instructor Spotlight: Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith is an Assistant Dean at Washington University, where he spends much of the day working closely with undergraduates, helping students navigate the perils of academia while guiding them through exciting opportunities offered in the college of Arts & Sciences. He also teaches and directs the undergraduate cancer program, “The Hallmarks of Cancer & Patient Care,” a multi-semester sequence of courses that introduces the interwoven layers of science and medicine within the context of a major human disease – cancer. His work with students has garnered leadership and advising awards, and he relishes the chance to work with passionate high school students looking to further their exploration in the biomedical sciences.

As background, Anthony was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and addressing the obligate regional question, attended Whitfield High School. He decided to tax his asthma and remain in allergy-riddled St. Louis, where he earned his B.A. at Washington University, while taking out his academic aggressions playing defense for the Wash U Bears’ club roller hockey team (culminating in a 4th-place finish at the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships in Las Vegas in his sophomore year). Following a passionate childhood fascination with sharks, Anthony continued his studies as close to the ocean as possible, earning a PhD in Microbiology/Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in southern Fla., where he managed to convince his mentor that scuba diving lessons would enhance his well-roundedness in the biological sciences (ask to see his picture of him kissing a tonically-immobilized shark). After a near run-in with a 10-foot alligator (seriously), he moved as far away as possible from a tropical climate and settled in a more “temperate” region, gaining valuable research experience as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Minnesota medical school, studying traits of a successful HIV vaccine.

He began mentoring/advising students while in the research laboratory, which grew into a full-time role when he transitioned to instructor for a few medical school post-baccalaureate programs. Realizing he thoroughly enjoys working closely with students and building relationships, he jumped at the opportunity to return to his alma mater in 2018 and help guide students along their collegiate journey.

In his free time (which is nonexistent now that he parents a young daughter), he enjoys hiking, playing recreational sports, “geeking out” with fantasy/sci-fi movies, gaming, and spending time with family.


Anthony teaches the Exploration Course: The Biological Basis for Human Disease.

Experience WashU from home this summer!