Karen K. Smith-McCune, MD, PhD
John A. Kerner Chair in Gynecologic Oncology, UCSF
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, UCSF
My research program is aimed at better understanding the changes in the microenvironment of the human that accompany infection with and the carcinogenic effects of human papillomavirus (HPV). My previous studies indicated that HPV infection of the cervix recruits a robust immune response resulting in the development of germinal centers, indicating that the cervix is a site of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). The finding that HPV results in recruitment of HIV target cells led me to hypothesize that cervical HPV infection might result in increased risk of HIV acquisition. I validated this hypothesis in a large cohort study in Zimbabwe in the context of a clinical trial of HIV prevention, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I have collaborated with an international team of scientists exploring the distribution and diversity of HPV 58, which is common in sub-Saharan Africa. I have also collaborated extensively with Dr. Megan Huchko at UCSF studying the optimal cervical cancer screening methods for women with HIV in Kenya. My recent research is focused on the mechanisms by which perturbations of the cervical microenvironment by HPV or microbicides might enhance susceptibility to HIV acquisition in women living in high prevalence regions. As a physician scientist, I am Director of the UCSF Dysplasia Clinic and am involved clinically in the care and treatment of women with cervical abnormalities.
McGill University, B.Sc., 1975, Biochem (Honors)
University of Cambridge, Diploma, 1976, Hist. & Phil. of Sci.
Rockefeller University, Ph.D., 1982
Stanford University, M.D., 1986