skip navigation

Dr. Harold Smith addressed Biological Sciences Convocation

Dr. Harold Smith was invited as this year’s alumni speaker to address graduates from the Department of
Biological Sciences at the Convocation Ceremony.

Dr. Harold C. Smith, Ph.D. is a cell and molecular biologist and tenured full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry.

He obtained his M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1982) in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo. He conducted postdoctoral fellowships with Drs. Harris Busch and Susan Berget in RNA biology at Baylor College of Medicine.

As a member of the faculty at the University of Rochester, Dr. Smith developed and instructs the primary technical training course for undergraduates in the Biochemistry major. He also runs a research laboratory from which over 133 peer reviewed publications have emerged on biological control mechanisms affecting diseases such as cancer, elevated cholesterol and heart disease and HIV/AIDS. He has led his research field with federal and foundation funding and is a key opinion leader on natural defense proteins known as APOBEC.

In 2003, Dr. Smith founded the biopharmaceutical company OyaGen, Inc. based on ground-breaking research revealing our innate ability to ward off an infection by HIV. The purpose was to develop a novel drug intervention strategy (based on targeting HIV-1 Vif protein) towards an eventual cure for AIDS. The company’s achievements have been recognized by federal and state officials, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, as having taken innovation to a new level with promising achievements that are of great importance and potential to the healthcare industry. Their lead Vif antagonist compounds are within 24 months of an IND filing.

The company also has developed a novel treatment for Ebola as part of its platform of technology. In collaboration with NIH, OyaGen is rapidly progressing a lead compound through preclinical testing.

OyaGen is located at 77 Ridgeland Rd in Henrietta NY, USA. For more information on Dr. Smith and OyaGen please visit the following webpages:


Smith Lab Page