Davida Smyth, PI

Davida S. Smyth holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland and completed her postdoctoral training at New York Medical College, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and New York University. She has served as Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Natural Sciences in Mercy College‚Äôs School of Health and Natural Sciences, where she taught environmental science, introductory biology, microbiology, and genetics and developed the first CURE course “Microbiology of Urban Spaces“. Previously, she has held Assistant Research Scientist status in the lab of Professor Richard Novick at NYU Langone Medical Center and was an Adjunct Lecturer for the online Masters in Bioinformatics program at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Prior to joining Mercy, Dr. Smyth was Assistant Professor of Biology at New York City College of Technology (NYCCT) where she coordinated the microbiology course, established and ran the internship course for biomedical informatics, and acted as program coordinator for biomedical informatics (in 2015).

Dr. Smyth has published extensively in the field of microbial epidemiology and has more than 20 original articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is an associate editor for BMC Infectious Diseases and PLOS One. She is devoted to undergraduate research. Her students have presented their work at several national meetings including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) annual conference.

Dr. Smyth conducts research with her undergraduate team in the area of comparative microbial genomics and evolution, studying Staphylococcus aureus from animals and from humans and researches the role of the built environment and anthropogenic activity in driving antibiotic resistance, a major global health threat. She also engages in pedagogical research on improving civic and scientific literacy in biology and integrating authentic research into the curriculum to improve student engagement and success in science. Dr. Smyth also guides and mentors future faculty and adjuncts to successfully apply for academic positions in teaching and beyond. In 2016, she was appointed a SENCER leadership fellow and as part of her fellowship, she guides SENCER and non-SENCER faculty, as well as K12 teachers, to incorporate SENCER ideals in their classrooms. In 2018, she was awarded the Mercy College Excellence in Teaching Award.