Bret Smith

Professor and Department Head Biomedical Sciences

H120E AZ

(970) 491-4263

About Bret

Neuroscience research in my laboratory focuses on two distinct programs. One is aimed at understanding the biological significance of neural circuitry in mammalian brainstem and hypothalamic regions that are involved in the autonomic control of feeding and metabolism, and the other is aimed at identifying neural changes thought to contribute to the development of acquired temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). The NIH and other agencies have continuously funded work on both programs for over 20 years to accomplish our research and training goals. We use a wide range of techniques to investigate complex issues related to central nervous system function and disease, including in vitro cellular electrophysiology, opto- and chemogenetics, behavior, molecular biological analyses, immunohistochemistry, electroencephalography (EEG), tract-tracing, and surgical techniques. My postdoctoral studies and initial faculty appointment were in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology here at CSU. I joined the faculty in Cell and Molecular Biology at Tulane University in 1999 and then moved to the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2006. I served as Director of Graduate Studies in Physiology for six years before being named Chair of the Department of Neuroscience in 2016. I was also a faculty associate in the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), founding Director of the UK Epilepsy Research Center (EpiC), and am a founding board member of the International Society of Neurogastronomy. I moved back to CSU to be the Department Head of Biomedical Sciences in 2021.


BA, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1985PhD, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 1992

Research Specialty

Animal models of diseaseSynaptic PhysiologyNeurobiology