In Memoriam: Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, FACC


Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, FACC, former ACC Kentucky Chapter Governor and a member of the ACC’s Academic Cardiology Section Leadership Council, passed away on Dec. 31, 2022, following a battle with cancer. Smyth was executive vice chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

An accomplished cardiologist and translational scientist, Smyth graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and earned her medical degree, as well as a PhD in pharmacology, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She did her internal medicine residency, including a year as chief resident, at the University Medical Center in Stony Brook, NY, and completed cardiology fellowships at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and the University of North Carolina.

Prior to joining UAMS in 2021, Smyth was chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute at the University of Kentucky. She also served as a cardiologist and funded investigator for the VA Health Care System and on the faculty of the University of North Carolina. She was a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, past president of the Association of University Cardiologists and served on the CTSA Steering Committee for the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.

An active member of the ACC, Smith served as governor of the ACC Kentucky Chapter from 2016 to 2018 – helping to blaze a trail for other women BOG leaders. As immediate-past governor, she chaired the College’s Cardiovascular Enterprise Task Force, which worked closely with the Cardiovascular Management Member Section and MedAxiom to create a toolkit for chapters to engage heath systems, members and private groups to support the business side of cardiology and nonclinical competencies. Most recently, she was an active member and leader in the ACC’s Academic Cardiology Section.

“Dr. Smyth was a valued colleague and source of sage counsel, and she will be sorely missed,” said Andrew J. Einstein, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of the Academic Cardiology Section. “In addition to her numerous responsibilities as a chief of cardiology at the University of Kentucky and later as Dean at the University of Arkansas, she gave generously of her time to the College. As a member of the Academic Cardiology Section’s Leadership Council and chair of its Educate Workgroup she led development of a host of educational programs, including a comprehensive webinar series addressing diverse topics in academic cardiology and the innovative Heart Tank for the Cardiovascular Investigator competition, which provides FITs and early-career cardiologists the opportunity to pitch their research ideas to a panel of expert judges during ACC’s Annual Scientific Session.”

Smyth is survived by her husband, Andrew Morris, PhD, professor in the UAMS Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and their sons, Edward and William.