Joshua Smith

Cancer fighter
Motivated by his wife's bout with cancer, IBM's Joshua Smith applies his engineering expertise to early diagnosis.

Why you should listen

As a research scientist and technical team lead for IBM's Nanobiotechnology Program, Dr. Joshua Smith researches innovative healthcare technologies at the intersection of engineering and biology to better understand disease progression.

Smith's team recently developed a chip-based solution that can rapidly isolate biomarkers as small as 20 nanometers to help identify cancer development even before symptoms occur. He is a sought-after speaker on the subject of lab-on-a-chip applications for healthcare and his work has been highlighted by Forbes, CNN Money, IEEE Spectrum and Pharma Technology Focus, among other media outlets. As a Research Staff Member and IBM Master Inventor, Smith has co-authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications and is a co-inventor of more than 30 issued patents.

Currently, Smith is focusing on the development of a suite of core capabilities to manipulate, separate and detect individual macromolecules, providing a technological backbone for automation in sample preparation, diagnostics and therapeutics. When not with his colleagues in the lab, Smith enjoys teaching tomorrow's researchers and engineers at Columbia University.

Joshua Smith’s TED talk