Women Who Inspire Us: M. Susan Smith

Portrait of M. Susan Smith

Dr. M. Susan Smith, professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine, was the Center for Women’s Health’s founding Director. She helped to develop and implement the original vision for the Center in 1997, when very few women’s health centers existed in America.

Her remarkable career has spanned four decades. Her research on brain regulation of food intake and energy balance and their relationship to reproductive function has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1975. It has also earned her an Award for Distinguished Service from the Endocrine Society.

She has conducted extensive research on reproductive health and factors in the maternal environment that may contribute to risk of obesity and diabetes, has published over 160 articles in both national and international journals, and has served on numerous scientific boards and NIH committees.

Dr. Smith also served as the Director of the Oregon Primate Center for 13 years. She is a Senior Scientist in the Division of Diabetes, Obesity, & Metabolism and in the Division of Neuroscience, and she chairs the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon Research and Education Committee. In addition, she is a member of the OHSU Board of Trustees. 

Dr. Smith continues to be active in the Center for Women’s Health, serving on our Leadership Council and participating in the Scientific Review Committee for the Circle of Giving award process. She is smart, thoughtful and involved! We feel so glad to continue to count her among our chief supporters and trusted allies.