Susan Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., Named Dean of the UAMS College of Medicine

By Yavonda Chase

She is succeeding Christopher Westfall, M.D., who retires Aug. 1, 2021, after 24 years at UAMS.

“Dr. Smyth is a remarkable physician, researcher and administrator whose focus on patient-centered care aligns perfectly with ours,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “Her skillset and experiences will serve her well as dean of the College of Medicine, and I look forward to working with her.

“I’m also very grateful to Dr. Westfall for his years of dedicated leadership and innumerable contributions to advancing UAMS and its tripartite mission of education, research and clinical care.”

Smyth joins UAMS from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she is the chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the director of the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute, a position in which she developed and implemented an operating structure that emphasized the integration and translation across research, education, and clinical care.

“I am very excited to be joining UAMS and the College of Medicine,” Smyth said. “UAMS has a tremendous reputation for educational, clinical and research excellence, and a compelling commitment to making lasting improvements in the health of Arkansans. I am honored and look forward to working with the talented UAMS team and partners across the state to promote health equity and collaboratively address the health needs of Arkansas.”

A nationally known cardiologist and translational scientist, Smyth is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, immediate past-president of the Association of University Cardiologists, and has served on the CTSA Steering Committee for the National Center for Advancing Translational Science. At the University of Kentucky, she is Senior Associate Director of the Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science and has a part-time appointment as a physician and research investigator at the Lexington VA Health Care System.

“We conducted a nationwide search and were fortunate to attract interest from a number of highly qualified leaders. Susan simply blew us away,” said Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and provost. “I very much look forward to the great things she will accomplish at UAMS.”

Smyth graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, with a bachelor of arts in biology before earning both a medical degree and a doctorate of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She completed an internal medicine residency, including a year as chief resident, at University Medical Center in Stony Brook, New York, and cardiology fellowships at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, New York, and The University of North Carolina, where she joined the institution’s faculty in 2001.

Smyth’s husband, Andrew J. Morris, Ph.D., is internationally known for research in lipid metabolism and signaling. They have two children — Edward, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, and William, a high school senior.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.