Tara C. Smith, Ph.D.
Kent State University
Tara C. Smith, Ph.D., is a professor of epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health. She spent 9 years in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, where she directed the College’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and attained the rank of associate professor with tenure. She completed post-doctoral training in molecular epidemiology at the University of Michigan and obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Toledo and her B.S. in biology from Yale University.
Smith’s research generally focuses on zoonotic infections. She was the first to identify livestock-associated strains of MRSA in the United States and has pioneered the investigation of this organism in the U.S. She has presented her research at numerous national and international events. She has also published work on vaccine hesitancy, science communication and COVID-19.
Smith is active in science communication and outreach. She maintained a science blog for 11 years and has written books on Group A Streptococcus, Group B Streptococcus, and Ebola. She published her second book on Ebola, "Ebola's Message," with MIT Press in 2016. She writes about infectious disease for many outlets and is a member of the Zombie Research Society’s advisory board.