Wally R. Smith, MD is the Florence Neal Cooper Smith Professor of Sickle Cell Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He also serves as the Vice-Chairman for Research of the Division of General Internal Medicine and is the former Scientific Director of the Center on Health Disparities at VCU. In addition, he is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Standards for Trustworthy Guidelines.
Dr. Smith is an experienced implementation scientist and an expert in clinical and health services research in sickle cell disease. He has authored over 100 publications, and served as an investigator on over 50 externally funded grants and contracts. These include the NIH-funded Pain in Sickle Cell Epidemiology Study (PiSCES, Principal Investigator), the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease, the Multicenter Study of Hydroxyurea in Sickle Cell Disease, the Sickle Cell Disease Clinical Research Network, (VCU site principal investigator), the Sickle Cell Disease Outcomes Research Network (principal investigator), and the NIH funded VCU Basic and Translational Research Program (BTRP) in sickle cell disease (principal investigator).
Dr. Smith has been associated with the development of two potential lead compounds for sickle cell disease at VCU. He has been extraordinarily successful at recruitment of sickle cell patients into clinical research, enrolling over 450 patients in 10 years. His latest NIH-funded grant, SHIP HU, randomizes patients to receive patient navigators to enhance patients’ adherence to hydroxyurea.