Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Gordon Smith, M.D.


We are pleased to announce the appointment of A. Gordon Smith, M.D., F.A.A.N., who will serve as the chairman of the Department of Neurology.

With distinguished accomplishments in the missions of teaching, research and clinical care, Dr. Smith’s breadth of experience and national stature will serve him well in his new role. We look forward to his contributions as a leader in the department as well as in support of our broader neuroscience program and in our community.

Dr. Smith has most recently served as professor of neurology and vice chair for research at the University of Utah, where he also is chief of the division of neuromuscular medicine and director of the Jack H. Petajan EMG Laboratory.

Dr. Smith’s research team focuses on peripheral neuropathy in diabetes and obesity. He has a particular interest in biomarker development and novel clinical trial design in peripheral neuropathy, a condition resulting from damage to the peripheral nervous system and causing weakness, numbness and pain.

He has led and participated in numerous clinical trials in neuromuscular disorders as well as in NeuroNEXT, the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials that is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Serving on the network’s executive committee, Dr. Smith is principal investigator of the TopCSPN trial, the first large scale randomized trial of a treatment to alter the natural history of cryptogenic sensory peripheral neuropathy, one of the most common neurological disorders.

Dr. Smith serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Neurology and is chair of its education committee. He is active in the Peripheral Nerve Society, where he is a former member of the board of directors, and currently serves as the secretary on the American Brain Foundation’s board of trustees.

A native of Richmond, Dr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School. He completed his neurology residency and a neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Our thanks go to the committee, led by Alex Valadka, M.D., to our community partners and leaders, our Neurology team, and to Jean Baumgartner, M.A., in the medical school’s Office of Faculty Affairs, for all their collective work and support in this successful national search.

This was an institutional search, with full support of our university and our health system.

“We are committed to building on our academic strengths, with neurosciences, addictions and mental health being a prominent strategic focus for us,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. It is anticipated that Dr. Smith, in collaboration with other leaders on campus, will recruit new talent to advance our neurosciences, both in research and in clinical specialty services.

“I’m excited by the excellent outcome of this collaborative search for this stellar clinical and academic leader,” said Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Health System Hospitals and Clinics. “And I deeply appreciate Scott A. Vota, D.O., who dedicatedly served as interim chair of the department over the past four years.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Smith to our medical school and “back home” to Richmond with his wife, Emily, and boys, Sam and Ben. Gordon will join our medical school this spring.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System