Dr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in biology/chemistry from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and his master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Internal Medicine/Cardiology at UT Southwestern in 2002 and joined the faculty shortly thereafter. He is an active member of the American Heart Association, American Physiological Society and American College of Sports Medicine. He has served as the Director of the David M Crowley Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory within the School of Health Professions. In addition, he is a former member of the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council in which he served on the Executive Sub-Committee on Health Affairs.

Dr. Smith's laboratory has been studying autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system during exercise in both humans and animals for over 15 years. Currently, the lab's research focuses on determining the mechanisms underlying alterations in circulatory control after the development of hypertension. More specifically, the lab is actively investigating the central and peripheral mechanisms mediating the abnormal alterations in sympathetic nerve activity, blood pressure and skeletal muscle blood flow with the pathogenesis of disease. Recently, the lab has been focusing on determining the mechanisms by which exercise training improves cardiovascular function during physical activity in hypertension with the goals of identifying: i) novel treatments for the abnormal response to exercise in the disease and ii) new treatment therapies for the disease.


Southwestern University (1992), Biology
Graduate School
University of North Texas Health Science Center (1996), Science
Graduate School
University of North Texas Health Science Center (1999), Physiology

Research Interest

  • Autonomic Reflex Dysfunction in Heart Failure
  • Autonomic Reflex Dysfunction in Hypertension
  • Neural Cardiovascular Control during Exercise
  • Sympathetic Dysfunction in Diebetes


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase protein expression is reduced within the brainstem neurons excited by skeletal muscle reflexes in spontaneously hypertensive rats
MN Murphy, M Mizuno, RM Downey, JJ Squiers, KE Squiers and SA Smith American Journal of Physiology 2013 304 H1547-H1557
A role for nitric oxide within the nucleus tractus solitarius in the development of muscle mechanoreflex dysfunction in hypertension
AK Leal, MN Murphy, GA Iwamoto, JH Mitchell and SA Smith Experimental Physiology 2012 97 1292-1304
Skeletal muscle reflex-mediated changes in sympathetic nerve activity are abnormal in spontaneously hypertensive rats
M Mizuno, MN Murphy, JH Mitchell and SA Smith American Journal of Physiology 2011 300
The capsaicin sensitive afferent neuron in skeletal muscle is abnormal in heart failure
SA Smith, MA Williams, JH Mitchell, PPA Mammen, MG Garry Circulation 2005 111 2056-2065
The role of the exercise pressor reflex in rats with dilated cardiomyopathy
SA Smith, PPA Mammen, JH Mitchell, MG Garry Circulation 2003 108 1126-1132


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in Education
    Southwestern School of Health Professions (2015)
  • Minority Health Research and Education Grant
    Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2014)
  • Basic Research Grant (R01)
    National Institutes of Health (2013)
  • Basic Research Grant (R01)
    National Institutes of Health (2008)
  • Scientist Development Grant
    American Heart Association - National (2007)
  • Beginning Grant-in-Aid
    American Heart Association - Texas Affiliate (2005)
  • New Investigator Award for Excellence in Research
    Southwestern School of Health Professions (2004)
  • Outstanding Research Award
    Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2004)
  • Young Investigator Award
    American Physiological Society Central Nervous System Section (2002)
  • Graduate Faculty Award for Outstanding Graduate
    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center (1999)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Heart Association
  • American Physiological Society