LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine invested Susan S. Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., UAMS executive vice chancellor and College of Medicine dean, in the Arkansas Medical Society Distinguished Dean’s Chair during a Nov. 9 ceremony.
“Serving as the Dean of the College of Medicine is an incredible honor, and today I am privileged to be invested in the Arkansas Medical Society Distinguished Dean’s Chair,” said Smyth. “I am particularly appreciative of the confidence that the chancellor and provost placed in me and the opportunity to further the vision of UAMS to make Arkansas a healthier state in partnership with eminent organizations such as the Arkansas Medical Society.”
Smyth is a nationally known cardiologist and translational scientist who brings extensive experience in educational, clinical and research program leadership. Since joining UAMS in June 2021, Smyth has launched and expanded numerous initiatives to improve health in Arkansas while also increasing the College of Medicine’s national standings in primary care and other aspects of education, research and clinical care. She has made the pursuit of health equity, diversity and inclusion a top priority for the college.
An endowed chair is among the highest academic honors a university can bestow on a faculty member. A distinguished chair is established with gifts of at least $1.5 million, which are invested and the interest proceeds used to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chair holder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields.
“An endowed chair is the highest honor that we can bestow on our faculty members,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “It is an indication of the work that they have done to advance our academic mission in health care, and it is an investment in their productivity in the future.”
The chair was established in 2017 by the College of Medicine and the Arkansas Medical Society for the college’s most important leadership post.
“The Arkansas Medical Society and the UAMS College of Medicine share common roots that extend to the 1870s,” said Stephanie Gardner, Pharm. D., Ed.D., UAMS provost and chief strategy officer. “The society and its members have been strong and gracious supporters of UAMS, funding scholarships, supporting our programs and establishing the Distinguished Dean’s Chair. We are thankful for the society’s longstanding support of our institution, faculty, students and our state.”
Smyth was recruited to UAMS from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she served as the Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute since 2011. Since 2006, she has served as a cardiologist and funded investigator for the VA Health Care System.
Smyth is a physician-scientist whose clinical practice in cardiology focuses particularly on arterial and venous thrombosis and whose funded research examines the interplay between inflammation and thrombosis in vascular biology. She has authored more than 200 publications and contributed to over a dozen textbooks. She has remained active in teaching and mentoring throughout her career.
Smyth graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Arts in biology, before earning her doctorate in pharmacology and medical degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She completed her residency in internal medicine, including a year as chief resident, at University Medical Center in Stony Brook, New York. She continued her training with cardiology fellowships at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and the University of North Carolina, where she joined the faculty in 2001. Smyth was recruited to the University of Kentucky in 2006.
“I was successful in recruiting Dr. Smyth to the University of Kentucky where she made astounding contributions, developing our clinical cardiology program into a regional powerhouse,” said Frederick C. de Beer, M.D., senior associate director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Kentucky. “What I find most remarkable about Susan Smyth is the talent, skill and desire in her work. Arkansas is blessed by one of the most remarkable academic physicians, and one of the most remarkable persons I have had the pleasure of working with.”