About Us

Dirk Smith, Principal

  • 25 years experience in biomedical research
  • Most recently as Scientific Director at Amgen
  • B.S., Microbiology and Molecular Biology, M.S., Genetics
  • Extensive preclinical experience with large molecule drugs
  • Over 40 peer-reviewed publications, including invited review articles*
  • 7 issued patents and additional applications pending
  • Frequently invited to speak at international conferences (Keystone Symposia, American Thoracic Society, GTC Bio Conferences, etc.)
  • Cultivated over 50 collaborations with academic investigators in the United States, South America and Europe. Numerous industry contacts.

*For a complete view of my scientific publications, go here


Dirk brings over 20 years of research and leadership experience in the biotech sector. He has a strong foundation in immunology with background in both oncology and inflammation settings. Prior to establishing Insight BioConsulting, Dirk served as Scientific Director in the Inflammation Research Department at Amgen, where he led large molecule programs from early discovery to clinical stage testing. He is a recognized expert on IL-1 family cytokine biology and led research programs focused on this target class. He was also responsible for championing Amgen’s asthma research pipeline and the development of a patient stratification strategy. As part of these efforts, Dirk's team developed innovative new in vitro models of lung pathophysiology and championed Amgen’s participation in a large public-private asthma research program. He also led a cross-functional team that spearheaded patient sample acquisition and the deployment of cutting edge technology platforms to advance predictive biomarkers. 

Dirk also has a keen interest in human genetics. He led research efforts to evaluate relationships between DNA polymorphisms and donor to donor immunologic response differences and also directed active collaboration between Amgen’s immunology team and deCODE Genetics, based in Iceland.  

Before joining Amgen, Dirk was at Immunex, where he learned immunology from some of the best in the world, cloned several new cytokines and led independent research. Prior to joining industry, he worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he contributed to oncology research teams investigating tumor resistance and growth regulation. Dirk received his BSc. From Washington State University and his MSc. in Genetics from the University of New Hampshire. He enjoys traveling with his family, watching soccer, playing tennis and being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

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