Leadership

Steven R. Smith, M.D.

In administrative roles, Dr. Smith is Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer of Florida Hospital Research Institute, guiding the research vision and scientific expansion of Florida’s largest network of community hospitals. He also currently serves as the Scientific Director of the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, which is dedicated to the study of obesity, metabolism, diabetes, and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease

Dr. Steven R. Smith earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, in 1988. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, in 1991. He subsequently completed a two-year fellowship in clinical endocrinology and metabolism at the Ochsner Clinic and Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He was a faculty member at Pennington Biomedical Research Center for 15 years.

Dr. Smith’s work bridges the gap between cell/molecular biology and clinical care. This approach is known as translational medicine, and involves translating discoveries in the basic sciences into the clinic and using clinical knowledge to direct the basic scientist.

His research is focused on obesity, diabetes and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease. He is specifically focused on how individuals differ in their ability to adapt to diets high in fat and understanding how obesity leads to type 2 diabetes. Using the translational medicine approach, Dr. Smith discovered that many obese people have an inability to burn fat and a new system to increase fat and energy metabolism. Most importantly, the discovery that the inability to burn fat is programmed into muscle cells provides a novel way to identify and test new treatments for obesity and diabetes.

In the clinic, Dr. Smith has a special interest in the identification and development of drugs for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. His translational work demonstrated that each person is unique at the molecular level, suggesting new ways to match therapies to the individual; this is the goal of the new field of ‘personalized’ medicine.

Dr. Smith’s research is currently funded by the NIH (2 RO1 grants), industry, and several philanthropic organizations.  In his research career, Dr. Smith has published more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, reviews and chapters and is active in physician education.

Administrative Assistant Contact Information:
Laura Burness
Phone: 407-303-7115

Rob Herzog
Vice President, Research Operations

Rob Herzog is currently serving as the Vice President of Research Operations, providing administrative oversight of all research activities within Florida Hospital, supporting and rolling up to the Chief Scientific Officer of Florida Hospital.  He oversees Research Services including the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Institutional Review Board, as well as Research Advancement and Support, Research Finance, and Research Business Development. Rob also heads up the Clinical Research Operations for thirteen different research institutes/departments across the Tri-county campuses, including Cancer, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience and the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes.   He supports bioscience innovation in Florida by serving on the board of BioFlorida, Inc.

Rob began his career with Florida Hospital Orlando in 2004, eventually becoming the Administrative Director for the Neuroscience Institute at Florida Hospital Orlando before moving into his current role.  His tenure at the Florida Hospital Orlando also included an active role as an instructor for the campus’ leadership development training and the launching of pilot programs to improve the health of the Central Florida community by serving on the staff of the Community Health Impact Council (CHIC).

Prior to joining Florida Hospital, Rob spent four years as the Director of Operations for Coventry Healthcare.  He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Virginia, attending James Madison University and the University of Virginia, respectively.

Rob enjoys forging relationships with the clinical investigators that drive new pathways for healthcare and he encourages a spirit of innovation with his colleagues.  He is committed to the Florida Hospital mission and dedicated to achieving the highest levels of performance.

Administrative Assistant Contact Information:
Rachel Rios
Phone: 407-303-0356