Dr. Wally R. Smith

2022 Scientific Co-Chair

Wally R. Smith, MD is Florence Neal Cooper Smith Professor of Sickle Cell Disease and Vice Chair for Research of the Division of General Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is active in the American Society of Hematology.  He has held over 50 grants, but is best known for his NIH-funded Pain in Sickle Cell Epidemiology Study (PiSCES), which led to the first NIH Request for Proposals on the Neurobiology of Pain in SCD, and supported national consensus research definitions of acute and chronic pain in SCD.  He was a member of the lnteragency Pain Research Coordinating Committee for DHHS, which published the National Pain Strategy. He sits on the Multi-disciplinary Working Group advising the NIH’s $500 million/year Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. He was a principal investigator in the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease, the Multicenter Study of Hydroxyurea in Sickle Cell Disease, the Sickle Cell Disease Clinical Research Network, the Sickle Cell Disease Outcomes Research Network, the Health Resources and Services Administration Sickle Cell Treatment Demonstration Program, and the NIH Basic and Translational Research Program in sickle cell disease.  Dr. Smith has been associated with the development of two potential remittive agents for sickle cell disease at VCU, and has been a major contributor to several trials of SCD remittive agents either just approved or nearing FDA approval.  His latest multicenter NIH-funded trial is SHIP HU, whose goal is to enhance patients’ adherence to hydroxyurea.