Robert Smith's current projects are investigating mechanisms of the cellular actions of the hormone insulin and the closely-related insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). These include studies on recently identified proteins in the insulin and IGF pathways that may have roles in causing diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and disturbed metabolism in critical illness. Clinical research projects focus on the effectiveness and importance of glucose control in diabetes and on causes of human growth disorders.

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Robert J. Smith joined the faculty in 2000 as director of the division of endocrinology and the new Hallett Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. His education included a BA in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, a BMS degree from Dartmouth Medical School, and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed internal medicine residency training at Duke University and subspecialty training in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD) and the Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA). He was a member of the faculty of Harvard Medical School from 1978-2000 with appointments at the Joslin Diabetes Center, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

His honors include the AMA Goldberger Fellowship Research Award, the Harvard division of medical ethics Responsible Conduct of Research Award, and appointment to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has served on multiple editorial boards including, at present, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Journal of Growth Hormone and IGF Research. He has published numerous research articles, reviews and chapters, and has trained more than 70 research students and postdoctoral research fellows.

A major focus of Smith's research is on the mechanisms of cellular signaling by insulin, insulin-like growth factors and growth hormone, and the mechanisms through which changes in signaling lead to human disease. His work is directed in particular to the role of altered hormone signaling in diabetes mellitus, genetic and acquired growth disorders, and catabolic states associated with severe illness. In addition to studies on cell surface hormone receptors and intracellular signaling mechanisms, he has extensively investigated nutritional factors that are interactive with hormone signaling mechanisms. The experimental approaches utilized in his laboratory extend methodologically from basic molecular biology to clinical studies in an effort to understand the molecular basis for clinically relevant disease processes.

Curricum Vitae

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Professor of Medicine
Phone: +1 401 444 3420
E-mail: Robert_J_Smith@Brown.EDU

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