Jennifer Smith-Garvin

Associate Professor of Instruction


Tampa campus
Office: SCA 109
Phone: (813) 974-0611
Email: jesmithgarvin@usf.edu



Ph.D. Immunology, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
D.V.M., The Ohio State University, 2004

As a Professor of Instruction, my focus is on teaching and I do not currently maintain an active research program. However, most recently my research interest has been focused on how scientists communicate their research with other scientists, with the media, and with the public at large.

How can we improve our communication skills to help relieve public distrust in science and medicine? Medical doctors and veterinarians are often at the intersection between the public and the scientific community. How can we better train these doctors to communicate the science behind their diagnoses and treatment recommendations? From the other perspective, I am interested in strategies to improve scientific literacy in non-scientists, to help them learn to navigate and think critically about the scientific claims they encounter every day. These interests grew from my own struggles with communicating my early research projects involving complex molecular signaling events in the immune system as well as my medical experience as a veterinarian.

My Ph.D. and postdoctoral research was focused on how cells of the immune system integrate signals from their environment to determine how to differentiate and what immune functions to perform. In other words, how do our white blood cells decide how to respond to a specific pathogen? How do our immune systems tailor the response to a parasite, to a virus, or a bacteria?