Robert Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Schizophrenia Research

Dr. Smith’s research group concentrates on clinical psychopharmacology and biological studies of schizophrenia and related disorders. He studies the efficacy of psychiatric drugs for treating symptoms or side-effects of schizophrenia; direct transcranial brain stimulation for improving cognition in schizophrenia; and epigenetic markers in the blood of schizophrenia patients. Prior work also included studies of autism and dementia. At NKI, Dr. Smith collaborates closely with the neurochemistry group (Drs. Lajtha and Sershen), as well as with Dr. Colcombe (Neuroimaging). He also has a strong collaboration with colleagues in China at the Shanghai Mental Health Center and at the Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha. In the past few years, Dr. Smith’s studies have involved epigenetic markers in the lymphocytes of schizophrenia; efficacy of varenicline for cognition and smoking in schizophrenia; efficacy of betahistine for ameliorating weight gain in schizophrenia; and transcranial direct current stimulation for improving cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Dr. Smith is also Research Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Collegium Internationale of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the American Psychiatric Association. He is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for Biological Psychiatry.

Select Publications

  • Smith RC, Jin H, Li C, Bark N, Shekhar A, Dwivedi S, et al (2013). Effects of pioglitazone on metabolic abnormalities, psychopathology, and cognitive function in schizophrenic patients treated with antipsychotic medication: a randomized double-blind study. Schizophr Res 143(1): 18-24.
  • Auta J, Smith RC, Dong E, Tueting P, Sershen H, Boules S, et al (2013). DNA-methylation gene network dysregulation in peripheral blood lymphocytes of schizophrenia patients. Schizophr Res 150(1): 312-318.
  • Guidotti, A., Auta J., Davis J. M., Dong E., Gavin D. P., Grayson D. R., Sharma R. P., Smith R. C., Tueting P., Zhubi A., 2014.  Toward the identification of peripheral epigenetic biomarkers of schizophrenia. J Neurogenet 28, 41-52.
  • Smith RC, Boules S, Mattiuz S, Youssef M, Tobe RH, Sershen H, et al. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on cognition, symptoms, and smoking in schizophrenia: A randomized controlled study. Schizophrenia research. 2015;168(1-2):260-6.
  • Smith RC, Amiaz R, Si TM, Maayan L, Jin H, Boules S, et al. (2016): Varenicline Effects on Smoking, Cognition, and Psychiatric Symptoms in Schizophrenia: A Double-Blind Randomized Trial. PLoS ONE.  Jan 5;11(1):e0143490.