Dr Lisa Smith

Dr Lisa Smith

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4702

Email: lisa.m.smith@sheffield.ac.uk

Room C34a, Alfred Denny Building

Lab website: lisasmithlab.wordpress.com/


Lecturer, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2013-present)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany (2007-2013)

PhD Student, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK (2002-2006)

BSc (Hons), The University of Queensland, Australia (1998-2001)

Key Research Interests

One aspect of my research focuses on plant development. I am particularly interested in the contribution of a group of carbohydrate (sugar)-binding proteins to plant development and its regulation by environmental signals. The malectin domain receptor-like kinases detect signals from outside the cell (either coming from other plant cells or from the surrounding environment) and help the cell and the plant develop appropriately according to the wider environment.

Research in the lab also includes the developmental roles of another group of malectin domain proteins with a kinesin domain. Kinesins are motor proteins that can move around the cell using the cytoskeleton. They are particularly important in plant cell division where they can restructure the cytoskeleton and shift organelles.

I remain interested in other areas of plant molecular biology such as natural variation and transposable elements; therefore, a third research area in the lab is examining the long-term effects of biotic stress on heritable variations.

Current Research Group

PhD Students

Sergio Galindo Trigo: Mossy signals: malectin domain kinase signalling in Physcomitrella patens (Departmental PhD + teaching: co-supervised by Julie Gray in MBB)

Dimitar Epihov: Symbiotic fungi versus bacteria as drivers of global biogeochemical cycles: exploiting the genomic resources for Medicago (ERC funded PhD: co-supervised with Jonathan Leake (primary supervisor) and David Beerling in APS)


In Animal and Plant Sciences, I teach on the following modules:

APS138 Level 1 Molecular and Cellular Biology

APS135 Level 1 Skills for Biologists 1 tutorials

APS222 Level 2 Animal and Plant Science tutorials

APS274 Level 2 The Molecular Revolution in Biology

APS331 Level 3 Dissertations

I am also the MRes programme coordinator.