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Edward R Smith
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Edward R.  Smith, MD

Department: Neurosurgery
Research Centers: Neurosurgery Research Center
Hospital Title: Director, Pediatric Cerebrovascular Surgery; Co-Director, Neurosurgical Stroke Program;Co-Director, Center for Head, Neck and Skull Base
Academic Title: Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School
Research Area: Moyamoya syndrome
Brain tumors



Research Overview

Edward Smith is engaged in basic science research on primary brain tumors and cerebrovascular disease. His research is primarily centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and angiogenesis in the central nervous system. This work has included basic science and translational studies investigating adult and pediatric brain tumors, moyamoya disease and cerebral vascular malformations. This research has implicated a class of extracellular matrix proteins, called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in the advent and progression of several disease states of the central nervous system, including brain tumors, moyamoya and vascular malformations.

A major research interest, in conjunction with the lab of Marsha Moses, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Program, is the study of pediatric cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). A number of projects have been generously supported by the Lucas Warner AVM research fund, resulting in exciting discoveries relevant to the diagnosis, understanding and treatment of these challenging lesions. Smith's research has been supported by funding from several other sources, including the National Institutes of Health, and is carried out in collaboration with a number of investigators in associated fields, particularly Moses.

Goals of Smith's work include:

  • development of a panel of non-invasive biomarkers for the detection and follow-up of neurosurgical disease;
  • development of novel therapeutic interventions for neurosurgical disease based on regulation of vascular stability;
  • investigation of the molecular mechanisms regulating tumorigenesis and angiogenesis in the central nervous system.

About Edward Smith

Edward R. Smith received an MD from Columbia University. He completed a neurosurgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at Boston Children's Hospital. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at MGH and a clinical research fellowship at Children's. Smith is currently the director of Pediatric Cerebrovascular Surgery and co-director of both the Stroke and Skull Base Centers at Children's. He has been recognized for his clinical work with regional and national awards. He was recently named Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery and voted President-elect of the Young Neurosurgeons Committee of the American Association of Neurologic Surgery. Smith also teaches at Tufts and Harvard Medical Schools, having taught neuroanatomy for over 10 years. He has been an invited speaker at grand rounds at institutions locally and nationally. He gives lectures for the critical care team, the nursing staff and the first responder teams at Children's, and teaching rounds for the neurosurgical department at Children's and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Key Publications

  • Scott RM, Smith ER. Moyamoya disease and moyamoya syndrome. N Engl J Med 2009 Mar 19; 360(12):1226-37.
  • Roach ES (Chair), Golomb M, Adams R, Biller, Daniels JS, deVeber G, Ferriero D, Ichord R, Jones B, Kirkham F, Scott RM, Smith ER. Guidelines for the management of cerebrovascular disorders in infants and children: A statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing group of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association. Stroke 2008 Jul 17; 39(9): 2644-91.
  • Smith ER, Zurakowski D, Saad A, Scott RM, Moses MA. Urinary biomarkers predict brain tumor presence and response to therapy. Clin Cancer Res 2008 Apr 15; 14(8):2378-86.
  • Smith ER, Manfredi M, Scott RM, Black PM, Moses MA. A recurrent craniopharyngioma illustrates the potential usefulness of urinary matrix metalloproteinases as noninvasive biomarkers: case report. Neurosurgery 2007 Jun; 60(6):E1148-9; discussion E1149.

For a list of Edward R. Smith's publications on PubMed, click here.


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