Melody Smith earned her MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas in 2009 and completed an Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2012. In the fall of 2012, she began her Fellowship in Medical Hematology/ Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While at MSKCC, Melody has received the following grants: the Clinical Scholars Training Program Grant and the Mortimer J. Lacher Research Fellowship.
The focus of her research entails the utilization of the CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in an effort to maintain graft versus tumor activity and attenuate graft versus host disease in the treatment of CD19 tumors. Melody will work with a mouse model to analyze the mechanism whereby CD19 CARs suppress GVHD and will also work to optimize the current approach for the administration of the CD19 CARs. This research has the potential to benefit patients, as it would be a strategy to decrease GVHD in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.