Steven R. Smith

MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, AdventHealth
Steven R. Smith

Dr. Steven R. Smith is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of AdventHealth guiding the research vision for AdventHealth across the system. AdventHealth is a multi-state hospital system with 50 hospital campuses, more than 1,200 care sites and over 80,000 team members. Dr. Smith's oversight includes all research operations, services and oversight for the nine states in which we serve. 

Dr. Smith earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas in 1988. Smith completed his residency in internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and subsequently completed a two-year fellowship in clinical endocrinology and metabolism at the Ochsner Clinic and Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a faculty member at Pennington Biomedical Research Center for 15 years prior to joining AdventHealth. 

Smith's scientific work bridges the gap between cell/molecular biology and clinical care. Translational science involves translating discoveries in the basic sciences to the clinic and importantly informing basic science with clinical phenotyping, biospecimens and modern molecular methods. 

Smith's research is focused on obesity, diabetes and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease. He is specifically focused on how individuals differ in their ability to adapt to diets high in fat and understanding how obesity leads to type 2 diabetes. Using the translational medicine approach, Dr. Smith discovered that many obese people have an inability to burn fat and a new hormonal control system to increase fat and energy metabolism. Most importantly, the discovery that the inability to burn fat is programmed into muscle cells provides a novel way to identify and test new treatments for obesity and diabetes. More recently, Dr. Smith's research program focuses on epigenetic programming of adipose tissue growth and function as well as the role of the human gut microbiome on the development of obesity. His translational work demonstrated that each person is unique at the molecular level suggesting new ways to match therapies to the individual; this is the goal of field 'personalized medicine.' 

Dr. Smith's research is currently funded by the NIH with two RO1 Grants, industry and philanthropic support. In his research career, Dr. Smith has published more than 200 peer- reviewed scientific manuscripts, reviews and chapters.

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