Evolution and population dynamics of antigenically variable pathogens, particularly influenza viruses but also malaria, HIV, and HCV – Pathogen surveillance – Vaccination – Vaccine strain selection – Cross–reactive immune response – Integration of phenotypic and genetic analyses – Fitness landscapes – Epidemiology – Comparative evolution – Predictability of evolution
Smith is also a research scientist in the Department of Virology at Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. National Institutes of Health Fogarty Intl. Center, and a member of the WHO committee that chooses the composition of the influenza vaccine.
Smith is using a new mathematical method called antigenic cartography to study the phenotypic evolution of influenza viruses and other rapidly evolving pathogens. This work has direct application to basic questions in evolution as well as immediate application in, such as the selection of viral strains for use in vaccines.