Zeljka Smit-McBride, M.S., Ph.D.

Zeljka Smit-McBride, M.S., Ph.D.


Molecular and Cellular Biology


  • Associate Project Scientist

Clinical Interests

I have had a sustained interest in the underlying molecular mechanisms governing life and how their disturbance can lead to disease. In particular, I would like to determine why aging is such a dominant risk factor. Currently, my research focuses on a prominent age related disease age-related macular degeneration. To determine the underlying defects associated with this disease I have chosen to explore the genomics and epigenetics of the affected eye tissue. In addition I am conducting a thorough search of the molecular targets of anti-inflammatory steroid therapy of the eye in an effort to improve such treatments.



Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


Ph.D., UC Davis, Davis, California, 1990

M.S., University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 1983

B.S., University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 1979

Professional Memberships

America Association for the Advancement of Science

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Honors and Awards

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology, 1993

Graduate Student Travel Grant at UC Davis, 1989

UC Davis Regent's Fellowship in Genetics, 1987

Member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, 1986

State of California Graduate Fellowship, 1986

Distinguished Scholar Tuition Fee Fellowship, 1985

Select Recent Publications

Zhang L, Smit-McBride Z, Pan X, Rheinhardt J, Hershey JW: An oncogenic role for the phosphorylated h-subunit of human translation initiation factor eIF3, J Biol Chem. 2008 Aug 29;283(35):24047-60. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Smit-McBride Z, Oltjen SL, LaVail MM, Hjelmeland LM: A strong genetic determinant of hyperoxia-related retinal degeneration on mouse chromosome 6, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Jan;48(1):405-11.

Alizadeh P, Smit-McBride Z, Oltjen SL, Hjelmeland LM: Regulation of cysteine cathepsin expression by oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium/choroid of the mouse, Exp Eye Res. 2006 Sep; 83(3): 679-87. Epub 2006 May 8.

Mattapallil JJ, Smit-McBride Z, Dailey P, and Dandekar S: Activated memory CD4(+) T helper cells repopulate the intestine early following antiretroviral therapy of simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques but exhibit a decreased potential to produce interleukin-2. J. Virol 1999; 73:6661-9

Mattapallil JJ, Smit-McBride Z, Dandekar S: Gastrointestinal epithelium is an early extrathymic site for increased prevalence of CD34(+) progenitor cells in contrast to the thymus during primary simian immunodeficinecy virus infection. J. Virol 1999; 73:4518-4523.

Mattapallil JJ, Smit-McBride Z, McChesney M, and Dandekar S: Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes are primed for gamma interferon expression and display antiviral cytotoxic activity despite severe?and MIP-1 CD4+ T-cell depletion in primary simian immunodeficiency virus infection. J. Virology 1998; 72(8): 6421-6429.

Smit-McBride Z, Mattapallil JJ, McChesney M, Ferrick D, and Dandekar S: Gastrointestinal T lymphocytes retain high potential for cytokine responses but have severe CD4+ T-cell depletion at all stages of simian immunodeficiency virus infection compared to peripheral lymphocytes. J. Virology 1998; 72(8): 6646-6656.

Smit-McBride Z, Mattapallil JJ, Villinger F, Ansari AA, and Dandekar S: Intracellular cytokine expression in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from intestinal mucosa of simian immunodeficiency virus infected macaques. J. Med. Primatol 1998; 27:129-140.

Smit-McBride Z, and Privalsky ML: DNA sequence specificity of the v-ErbA oncoprotein/thyroid hormone receptor: role of the P-box and its interaction with more N-terminal determinants of DNA recognition. Molecular Endocrinology 1994; 8(7):819-828.

Smit-McBride Z, and Privalsky ML: Functional domains of the v-erb A protein necessary for oncogenesis are required for transcriptional activation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Oncogene 1993; 8(6):1465-1475.

Chen H, Smit-McBride Z, Lewis S, Sharif M, and Privalsky ML: Nuclear hormone receptors involved in neoplasia: Erb A oncoprotein exhibits a novel DNA sequence specificity determined by amino acids outside of the "zinc-finger" domain. Mol. and Cell. Biology 1993; 13(4):2366-2376.

Hall BL, Smit-McBride Z, and Privalsky ML: Reconstitution of retinoid X receptor function and combinatorial regulation of other nuclear hormone receptors in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PNAS USA 1993; 90(15):6929-6933.