Leon Smyth, PhD

Leon Smyth, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Kipnis Lab


  • Immunobiology

Lab Website


  • B.A. (History), B.Sc. (Pharmacology), University of Otago (2013)
  • B.Sc. (Biomedical science) (Hons, 1st class), University of Auckland (2014)
  • Ph.D. (Pharmacology), University of Auckland (2018)

Research Areas of Interest

I am interested in the immunology of the brain’s border tissues – the meninges. In particular, I am focused on the way that the meningeal stroma (arachnoid barrier cells, dural border cells, meningeal fibroblasts) shapes immune privilege, brain development, and the cerebrospinal fluid.

Research Statement

I started as a postdoc in Professor Jony Kipnis’ lab in 2021, focused CSF efflux, with a particular interest in the arachnoid barrier and its role in shaping border tissues such as the skull. Prior to this, I did my Ph.D. in Professor Mike Dragunow’s lab at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, followed by a two-year postdoc in Professor Mark Hampton’s lab at the University of Otago in New Zealand where I focused on the immune responses of the brain’s blood vessels.