Douglas H. Smith, MD

faculty photo
Robert A. Groff Professor of Teaching and Research in Neurosurgery
Director , Center for Brain Injury and Repair, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Neurosurgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
105 Hayden Hall
3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316
Office: 215-573-3156
BS (Biology)
University of Connecticut, 1981.
MD (Medicine)
University of Noreste, 1986.
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Description of Research Expertise

Douglas H. Smith, M.D., is the Robert A. Groff Endowed Professor of Teaching and Research in Neurosurgery and Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Smith is the Scientific Director of the Big 10/ Ivy league Collaboration on Concussion and he also serves as a member on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the US National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-DoD “CARE” consortium on concussion and the International Concussion Society. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State Department asked Dr. Smith to lead an investigation into neurological deficits induced in members of the embassy in Cuba, which led to the discovery of a new disorder, “Havana Syndrome.”

Dr. Smith’s group has established that damage to brain networks and specifically, diffuse axonal injury (DAI), represents key pathological processes underlying concussion symptoms and that the extent of acute axonal pathology is predictive of cognitive outcome. In addition, his group has discovered mechanisms of concussion and more severe TBI that lead to progressive neurodegeneration, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy. These collective research efforts are represented in over 250 published scientific reports earning an h-index of over 90. His awards include the Dorothy Russell medal, the highest honor conveyed by the British Neuropathological Society the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania, the highest clinical research honor and the Anthony B. Marmarou Memorial Neurotrauma Lecture Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Selected Publications

Sullivan, P. Z., AlBayar, A., Burrell, J. C., Browne, K. D., Arena, J., Johnson, V., Smith, D. H., Cullen, D. K., Ozturk, A. K.: Implantation of Engineered Axon Tracts to Bridge Spinal Cord Injury Beyond the Glial Scar in Rats. Tissue Eng Part A March 2021.

Smith, D. H., Dolle, J. P., Ameen-Ali, K. E., Bretzin, A., Cortes, E., Crary, J. F., Dams-O'Connor, K., Diaz-Arrastia, R., Edlow, B. L., Folkerth, R., Hazrati, L. N., Hinds, S. R., Iacono, D., Johnson, V. E., Keene, C. D., Kofler, J., Kovacs, G. G., Lee, E. B., Manley, G., Meaney, D., Montine, T., Okonkwo, D. O., Perl, D. P., Trojanowski, J. Q., Wiebe, D. J., Yaffe, K., McCabe, T., Stewart, W.: COllaborative Neuropathology NEtwork Characterizing ouTcomes of TBI (CONNECT-TBI). Acta Neuropathol Commun 9(1): 32, March 2021.

Gan, Z. S., Stein, S. C., Swanson, R., Guan, S., Garcia, L., Mehta, D., Smith, D. H.: Blood Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury: A Quantitative Assessment of Diagnostic and Prognostic Accuracy. Front Neurol 10: 446, 2019.

Smith, D. H., Stewart, W.: ''Concussion'' is not a true diagnosis. Nat Rev Neurol 16(9): 457-458, 2020.

Smith, D. H., Stewart, W.: Genetic interplay with soccer ball heading. Nat Rev Neurol 2020.

Chen, H. I., Jgamadze, D., Lim, J., Mensah-Brown, K., Wolf, J. A., Mills, J. A., Smith, D. H.: Functional Cortical Axon Tracts Generated from Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons. Tissue Eng Part A 25(9-10): 736-745, 2019.

Johnson, V. E., Stewart, W., Smith, D. H.: Widespread tau and amyloid-beta pathology many years after a single traumatic brain injury in humans. Brain Pathol 22(2): 142-9, 2012.

Verma, R., Swanson, R. L., Parker, D., Ould Ismail, A. A., Shinohara, R. T., Alappatt, J. A., Doshi, J., Davatzikos, C., Gallaway, M., Duda, D., Chen, H. I., Kim, J. J., Gur, R. C., Wolf, R. L., Grady, M. S., Hampton, S., Diaz-Arrastia, R., Smith, D. H.: Neuroimaging Findings in US Government Personnel With Possible Exposure to Directional Phenomena in Havana, Cuba. JAMA 322(4): 336-347, 2019.

Dolle, J. P., Jaye, A., Anderson, S. A., Ahmadzadeh, H., Shenoy, V. B., Smith, D. H.: Newfound sex differences in axonal structure underlie differential outcomes from in vitro traumatic axonal injury. Exp Neurol 300: 121-134, 2018.

Ezra Sadik, M., Ozturk, A. K., Albayar, A., Branche, M., Zadnik Sullivan, P., Schlosser, L. O., Browne, K. D., Jaye, A. H., Smith, D. H.: A Strategy Toward Bridging a Complete Spinal Cord Lesion Using Stretch-Grown Axons. Tissue Eng Part A 2020.

Iwata, A., Stys, P. K., Wolf, J. A., Chen, X. H., Taylor, A. G., Meaney, D. F., Smith, D. H.: Traumatic axonal injury induces proteolytic cleavage of the voltage-gated sodium channels modulated by tetrodotoxin and protease inhibitors. J Neurosci 24(19): 4605-13, 2004.

Johnson, V. E., Stewart, W., Smith, D. H.: Axonal pathology in traumatic brain injury. Exp Neurol 246: 35-43, 2013.

Siman, R., Shahim, P., Tegner, Y., Blennow, K., Zetterberg, H., Smith, D. H.: Serum SNTF Increases in Concussed Professional Ice Hockey Players and Relates to the Severity of Postconcussion Symptoms. J Neurotrauma 32(17): 1294-300, 2015.

Smith, D. H., Hicks, R. R., Johnson, V. E., Bergstrom, D. A., Cummings, D. M., Noble, L. J., Hovda, D., Whalen, M., Ahlers, S. T., LaPlaca, M., Tortella, F. C., Duhaime, A. C., Dixon, C. E.: Pre-Clinical Traumatic Brain Injury Common Data Elements: Toward a Common Language Across Laboratories. J Neurotrauma 32(22): 1725-35, 2015.

Smith, D. H., Johnson, V. E., Trojanowski, J. Q., Stewart, W.: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy - confusion and controversies. Nat Rev Neurol 15(3): 179-183, 2019.

Smith, D. H., Stewart, W.: Tackling concussion, beyond Hollywood. Lancet Neurol 15(7): 662-663, 2016.

Swanson, R. L., 2nd, Hampton, S., Green-McKenzie, J., Diaz-Arrastia, R., Grady, M. S., Verma, R., Biester, R., Duda, D., Wolf, R. L., Smith, D. H.: Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba. JAMA 319(11): 1125-1133, 2018.

Tang-Schomer, M. D., Patel, A. R., Baas, P. W., Smith, D. H.: Mechanical breaking of microtubules in axons during dynamic stretch injury underlies delayed elasticity, microtubule disassembly, and axon degeneration. FASEB J 24(5): 1401-10, 2010.

Verma, R., Swanson, R. L., Smith, D. H.: Neuroimaging of US Government Personnel Exposed to Directional Phenomena-Reply. JAMA 322(22): 2249-2250, 2019.

Arena, J. D., Johnson, V. E., Lee, E. B., Gibbons, G. S., Smith, D. H., Trojanowski, J. Q., Stewart, W.: Astroglial tau pathology alone preferentially concentrates at sulcal depths in chronic traumatic encephalopathy neuropathologic change. Brain Commun 2(2): fcaa210, 2020.

Smith, D. H., Johnson, V. E., Stewart, W.: Chronic neuropathologies of single and repetitive TBI: substrates of dementia? Nat Rev Neurol 9(4): 211-21, 2013.

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Last updated: 07/19/2023
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