Population, Neurodevelopment and Genetics program

Jennifer A. Smith

Jennifer SmithResearch Associate Professor

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3308 ISR
426 Thompson St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104




Dr. Smith studies the ways that genetic factors influence age-related chronic diseases, subclinical phenotypes, and their risk factors. Her work encompasses a broad range of phenotypes, including cardiovascular traits, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, subclinical phenotypes for dementia and cognition, obesity and body mass index, diabetes and glucose metabolism, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and health behaviors. She is particularly interested in the interaction between genetic and non-genetic determinants of health (such as demographic, social, and psychosocial factors) in shaping disease risk. Her research also includes biological markers that may lend insight into disease etiology and molecular mechanisms, including epigenetics, gene expression, and telomere length. Dr. Smith earned her B.S. in Biology from Cornell University, and her M.P.H. (Health Management and Policy), M.A. (Statistics), and PhD (Epidemiology) from the University of Michigan. She is affiliated with the Center for Integrated Approaches to Health Disparities (CIAHD), Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA), and the Center for Midlife Science.



  • Suzuki K, Hatzikotoulas K, Southam L,…Smith JA, et al. Genetic drivers of heterogeneity in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology. Nature. doi:10.1038/s41586-024-07019-6
  • Armstrong ND, Srinivasasainagendra V, Ammous F,…Smith JA, et al. Whole genome sequence analysis of apparent treatment resistant hypertension status in participants from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine program. Front Genet. 2023;14:1278215. doi:10.3389/fgene.2023.1278215
  • Gao T, Zheng Y, Joyce BT,…Smith JA, et al. Epigenetic aging is associated with measures of midlife muscle volume and attenuation in CARDIA Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2024;79(3):glad261. doi:10.1093/gerona/glad261
  • Li Y, Wang M, Liu X,…Smith JA, et al. Circulating metabolites may illustrate relationship of alcohol consumption with cardiovascular disease. BMC Med. 2023;21(1):443. Published 2023 Nov 16. doi:10.1186/s12916-023-03149-2
  • Clark-Boucher D, Zhou X, Du J,…Smith JA, et al. Methods for mediation analysis with high-dimensional DNA methylation data: possible choices and comparisons. PLoS Genet. 2023;19(11):e1011022. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1011022
  • Hasbani NR, Westerman KE, Kwak SH,…Smith JA, et al. Type 2 diabetes modifies the association of CAD genomic risk variants with subclinical atherosclerosis. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2023;16(6):e004176. doi:10.1161/CIRCGEN.123.004176
  • Liu X, Sun X, Zhang Y,…Smith JA, et al. Association between whole blood-derived mitochondrial dna copy number, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease risk. J Am Heart Assoc. 2023;12(20):e029090. doi:10.1161/JAHA.122.029090
  • Wang Y, Selvaraj MS, Li X,…Smith JA, et al. Rare variants in long non-coding RNAs are associated with blood lipid levels in the TOPMed whole-genome sequencing study. Am J Hum Genet. 2023;110(10):1704-1717. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2023.09.003
  • Jakubek YA, Zhou Y, Stilp A,…Smith JA, et al. Mosaic chromosomal alterations in blood across ancestries using whole-genome sequencing. Nat Genet. 2023;55(11):1912-1919. doi:10.1038/s41588-023-01553-1
  • Kavousi M, Bos MM, Barnes HJ,…Smith JA, et al. Multi-ancestry genome-wide study identifies effector genes and druggable pathways for coronary artery calcification. Nat Genet. 2023;55(10):1651-1664. doi:10.1038/s41588-023-01518-4