Beth Smith earned her PhD in Toxicology from Texas A&M in 1974. She completed post-doctoral work at Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1978 with Richard St. Clair, PhD. Dr. Smith began her career at Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1987 in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as a Research Assistant. Her research interests were botulinum toxin to treat cerebral palsy. Her work using intramuscular toxin injections to manage muscle spasticity changed the management of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy worldwide. Dr. Smith published journal articles, book chapters, and books throughout her career. During her tenure, she was the Director of the Orthopaedic Research Lab, Coordinator of the Spasticity Management Workshops, served as Chair of the Division of Surgical Sciences Research Day from 1993-1997, and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Research Day from 1991 until her retirement in 2018.
Thomas Smith earned his PhD in Physiology from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1979. He completed post-doctoral work at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine with Thomas Coleman, PhD and Arthur C. Guyton, PhD. Dr. Smith served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine from 1980-1982. He began his career at Wake Forest School of Medicine as an Instructor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in 1978, achieving the rank of Assistant Professor in 1982. Dr. Smith joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1996 working diligently to improve orthopaedic research until his retirement in 2020. He is an expert in small animal models and microsurgery training. The models he developed are now a resource for the IACUC and multiple collaborators across the institution. His expertise in cardiovascular physiology and applications for orthopaedic research helped establish the Extremity Lab, advanced techniques for re-implantation, and assessment of compartment syndrome. He collaborated with Walt Curl, MD, and Nicole Deal to determine the action mechanism of cold therapy for treatment of contusions. Dr Smith published journal articles, book chapters, and books throughout her career.
Beth Smith, PhD, and Tom Smith, PhD, have many collaborative accomplishments during their tenure in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest University. They were responsible for the growth of industry and grant funding for the lab. With this additional funding, the lab was able to grow the support personnel to facilitate the research interests of the department’s faculty and residents. Current personnel comprise 4 research faculty, 4 management level staff, 13 grants, lab, and project coordinator staff members. The Smiths were instrumental in the establishment and success of the Physician Scientists program starting in 1999.
The program has resulted in patents, publications, Physician Scientist training, numerous awards, and the establishment of an orthopaedic research lab at Wake Forest School of Medicine that continues to thrive and grow.
- Patents: 3 awarded; 3 pending
- Book Chapters: 38
- Peer reviewed journal articles: 240
- Grant Funding (Pi or Co-I): $19,150,068
- 20 of 13 have completed their PhD; 7 currently serves as faculty at Medical Schools
- MD/PhD’s 9 (4 more pending)
- Recipients of Clinical Research Award from Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (Kappa Delta Award), American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons for research with Drs. L. Koman, B. Smith, and Z. Li. examining control of the digital circulation 1999
- Co-authors for 3rd, 4th, and 7th most frequently cited article from the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
- Co-authors for top 100 classic papers of pediatric orthopaedic Surgery in JBJS (19th, 21st, and 30th most frequently cited)