Clay Smith, MD
Professor, Medicine-Hematology

Clinic (720) 848-6400
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Gender: Male
Languages: English
Department, Section/Division: Medicine-Hematology

Practice Locations

Hematology Clinic - Anschutz
1665 Aurora Ct
2nd Floor, Anschutz Cancer Pavilion
Aurora, CO 80045
720-848-0300
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UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital
1750 E. Ken Pratt Boulevard
Longmont, CO 80504
720-718-7000
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Hospital Affiliation
  • University of Colorado Hospital

Specialty Information

Specialties
  • Internal Medicine - Hematology, Board Certification (2006,2016)
  • Internal Medicine - Hematology and Oncology (2003)
  • Internal Medicine, Board Certification (1989)
Conditions & Treatments
  • Cancers
  • Blood and Marrow Transplant
  • Leukemia (Adult Acute)
  • Leukemia (Adult Chronic)
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma
Clinical Interest for Patients
My clinical interests include myeloma, amyloid, hematologic malignancies, blood and marrow transplantation.

Care Philosophy
I'm keen to see persons with blood cancers get the latest in treatment advances as well as the most compassionate and supportive care.

Personal Interests
Dr. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Rice University and his MD from University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School where he also completed his internship. The majority of his post-graduate training was completed in New York City, with residency at NY Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He performed advanced fellowship training in bone marrow transplantation (BMT) at Stanford University. Dr. Smith’s first faculty appointment was as an Assistant Professor at Duke University where he established a highly successful research program specifically focused on gene transfer strategies for therapeutic modification of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and novel methods of high throughput flow cytometric analysis. Dr. Smith has also served in appointments with the Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and University of Pittsburgh. Throughout the course of his career, Dr. Smith has published over 100 scientific articles, been an invited speaker at over 50 presentations and obtained over $10 million in funding. He was recruited to serve as the program director of the Blood Cancer & BMT Program at the University of Colorado in 2012, and currently is the Associate Chief of the Division of Hematology.

Information for Referring Providers

Clinical Interests for Referring Providers
myeloma, amyloid, hematologic malignancies, blood and marrow transplantation

Research Interest for Referring Providers
Dr. Smith’s research has been devoted to the advancement of care for persons with blood cancers through characterizing and manipulating the biology of normal, and more recently, malignant hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). He has pursued this through a series of basic, translational and clinical studies that have included characterizing and transplanting umbilical cord blood stem cells, attempts at ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and most recently in the development of novel flow cytometric and associated bioinformatic tools to identify and study the biology of HSCs and leukemic stem cells (LSCs). These technologies have included developing high throughput/high content flow cytometry strategies as well as associated data mining and analysis tools. In addition, Dr. Smith’s laboratory developed the flow cytometric reagent Aldefluor to identify stem cells based on Aldehyde Dehyrdrogenase (ALDH) activity. This approach has become one of the widest used strategies for identifying both normal and malignant stem cells from a variety of tissues and organisms. Dr. Smith’s laboratory has shown that virtually all human HSCs and myeloid progenitors are captured by Aldefluor staining (ALDHbr cells), that the number of these cells predicts hematopoietic stem cell engraftment and have characterized a number of other features of ALDHbr cells that have provided pre-clinical background for using Aldefluor as a stem cell transplant quality control tool as well as a novel means of purging autologous transplants of contaminating tumor cells and preparing HSCs for ex-vivo expansion and gene therapy efforts. More recently, they have capitalized on the observation that many stem cells express ALDH to try and understand the biology of this interesting gene family and how it may be utilized to manipulate normal and hematopoietic stem cells. This has led to the discovery that one of the major roles for high levels of ALDH in stem cells is the management of compounds termed reactive aldehydes, which are the byproducts of metabolism and reactive oxygen species. They have also shown that reactive aldehyde accumulation in HSCs can impact many critical cell processes and can predispose to leukemia development. Most recently, they have capitalized on this finding to develop a novel strategy for targeting leukemic stem cells which will soon be translated into a clinical trial for persons with AML. This novel treatment strategy may also be applicable to other blood cancers including myeloma and possibly solid tumors as well.

Clinic Phone: (720) 848-6400

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