Social neuroscience
of pain, affect, and


The Smith Lab focuses on the mechanistic understanding of the neurobiological relationships between social behavior, pain, and emotion, while identifying the neural circuitry that is disrupted in disease models related to empathy, addiction, and depression.

Meet Dr.
Monique Smith

Dr. Smith is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the departments of Neurobiology and Neurosciences. She received both her B.A. and M.A in Psychology from California State University San Marcos and her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University. She conducted her postdoctoral training at Stanford University with Dr. Robert Malenka.

Lab news

Events, Lab

Oh the places you’ll go!

August 1, 2023 | The time has come – we are saying goodbye to many of our founding lab members…The Smith Lab would not be what it is without all of you. Thank you to each and every one of you for spending the last couple of years dedicating yourself to our work and creating … Read more

A big welcome

July 1, 2023 | We are thrilled to announce that the Smith Lab is expanding! This summer, we welcome our new Project Scientist, Marcelo Aguilar-Rivera, and our 2 Laboratory Technicians, Parnaz Boroon and Thomas Perry. Your presence brings fresh perspectives, skills, and enthusiasm that will contribute to the success of the Smith Lab. At the … Read more
Lab, Research

Thank you to the Whitehall Foundation!

April 2023 | We got our first check from the Whitehall Foundation today! Thank you to the Whitehall Foundation for believing in us and supporting our work. This grant will help fund one of our primary projects looking at the role of serotonin and oxytocin in empathy behavior! We could not do this work without … Read more