Steven R. Smith, MD



MD, UTHSC, San Antonio

General field of research:


Affiliations other than medicine:

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
Florida Hospital and Burnham Institute for Medical Research

Contact information:


Adipose tissue; Angiogenesis; Hypoxia

Summary of research interest:

Dr. Smith’s work focuses on two areas: adipose tissue dysfunction in diabetes and substrate/fatty acid oxidation at the whole body and cellular level.  In the area of adipose tissue he is working to better understand why obese adipose tissue is hypoxic and how this might lead to macrophage chemotaxis and inflammation.  Interestingly, obese adipose tissue does not appear to develop an angiogenic response to the low oxygen tension. He is also interested in the origins of the sexual dimorphism seen in adipose tissue mass and distribution where women have more body fat than men but men grow adipose tissue centrally.  Lastly, Dr. Smith was one of the first clinical scientists to use transcriptome analysis of adipose tissue to ‘subtype’ obesity and to use this tool to predict the response to a medical intervention.  This demonstrates that diagnostic tools can be of utility in the practice of ‘personalized’ medicine.

Recent publications:

Pasarica M, Xie H, Hymel D, Bray G, Greenway F, Ravussin E & Smith SR.  2009. Lower total adipocyte number, but no evidence for small adipocyte depletion in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care.

Pasarica M, Sereda OR, Redman LM, Albarado DC, Hymel DT, Roan LE, Rood JC, Burk DH & Smith SR.  2009. Reduced adipose tissue oxygenation in human obesity: evidence for rarefaction, macrophage chemotaxis, and inflammation without an angiogenic response. Diabetes; 58: 718-725.

Wang S, Sparks LM, Xie H, Greenway FL, de Jonge L & Smith, SR.  2009. Subtyping obesity with microarrays: implications for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity. Int J Obes (Lond).

Muhlhausler B & Smith SR.  2009. Early-life origins of metabolic dysfunction: role of the adipocyte. Trends Endocrinol Metab; 20: 51-57.

Bray GA, Bouchard C, Church TS, Cefalu WT, Greenway FL, Gupta AK, Kaplan LM, Ravussin E, Smith SR & Ryan DH.  2009. Is it Time to Change the Way We Report and Discuss Weight Loss? Obesity (Silver Spring); 17: 619-621.

Gupta AK, Smith SR, Greenway FL & Bray GA.  2009. Pioglitazone treatment in type 2 diabetes mellitus when combined with portion control diet modifies the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Obes Metab; 11: 330-337.

Gupta AK, Bray GA, Greenway FL, Martin CK, Johnson WD & Smith SR.  2009. Pioglitazone, but not metformin, reduces liver fat in Type-2 diabetes mellitus independent of weight changes. J Diabetes Complications.

Technologies available for sharing upon request:

Adipose tissue capillary staining; Adipose tissue pO2 measurements; Adipose tissue optimized RNA extraction via Barocyclene