David I Smith received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1978 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After postdoctoral training he got his first faculty position in 1986 at Wayne State University. Since 1996 he has been a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. He is also the Chairman of the Technology Assessment Group for the Mayo Clinic Center for Individual Medicine. His area of expertise is in DNA sequencing technologies and he uses these technologies to study the molecular alterations that occur during cancer development. His group also studies the various ways that human papillomavirus is involved in the development of different cancers.