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, Research

Big Smith Lab Updates!

March 2024 | In just the first two months of the year, the Smith Lab has already witnessed remarkable achievements and significant events unfold. The new year began with a joyous celebration as our Principal Investigator, Dr. Monique Smith, was honored with Sanford Institute’s Endowed Professorship in Empathy and Compassion Research. This distinguished recognition is … Read more

Farewell Nikki!

December 2023 | The Smith lab has been incredibly fortunate to have had Nikki Keisler, a first-year PhD student from the Neuroscience Graduate Program rotate in our lab this past Fall quarter. Apart from her evident love for neuroscience and formidable knowledge in many areas, Nikki is such a warm and attentive person who was … Read more
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