Dr. Smith received his M.D. from the University of Iowa School of Medicine in 1959 and completed his residency in pathology at The University of Iowa Hospitals in 1965. He joined the Department of Clinical Pathology at Indiana University School of Medicine as Professor and Director of the Division of Medical Microbiology in 1970. He became Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 1992. He became the Nordschow Professor of Laboratory Medicine in 1997 and Professor Emeritus in 1998.
Dr. Smith is recognized for his expertise in diagnostic parasitology and infections in immunocompromised hosts. His research has primarily dealt with Pneumocystis, a common cause of pneumonia and death in patients with AIDS. Areas of Pneumocystis research emphasis have been drug discovery and molecular epidemiology. His publications include 126 scientific articles, 41 book chapters, and one book.
Dr. Smith serves or has served on the editorial boards of leading clinical microbiology journals, chaired the Microbiology Resource Committee of the College of American Pathologists and is Past President of the Binford Dammin Society of Infectious Disease Pathologists. In 1977, he received the annual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Microbiology from the South Central Association for Clinical Microbiology and in 1997 received the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr. Award for Distinguished Faculty Service from the IU School of Medicine Alumni Association.