Dr. Judith Smith Recognized for Immunology Research

Above, Judith Smith, MD, PhD (Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology), was awarded the Vilas Associates Award by the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. 

Judith Smith, MD, PhD (Associate Professor, Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology) was recently recognized for her on-going research in immunology and selected for the highly competitive Vilas Associates Award by the University of Wisconsin Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Recipients of the award are chosen by divisional Research Committees and granted a flexible research fund for each of two fiscal years.
We sat down with Dr. Smith to talk about the award, her work and her personal interests. Learn more about her in the Q&A below. 
Q: How would you describe your job to a five-year old?
The immune system is supposed to fight off viruses and bacteria, but sometimes it gets confused and attacks the body instead. I take care of kids who have this mistaken immune response and make them better.
Q: What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
My biggest academic achievement was graduating at the top of my class at Yale. My personal one is raising two sweet, kind and happy boys.
Q: What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now? 
We’re figuring out how Brucella bacteria sabotage immune responses so they can set up shop and persist in macrophages.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? 
When I’m not working, I enjoy figure skating, dancing (ballet), knitting, baking, gardening, and painting dragons with the boys.
Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
I tend to say “it is what it is” a lot. My favorite saying comes from an old friend, though, which is: “You can’t have everything and good looks too.”