Professor Mark Smith, Leading Alzheimer's Expert, Leaves Legacy of Discovery and Service

Mark Smith
Mark A. Smith

Professor Mark A. Smith, a renowned Alzheimer’s disease researcher and revered mentor and colleague, died early Sunday morning after being struck by a car in Bainbridge Township.

“Mark Smith’s passion for scientific discovery was matched by his complete dedication to students and colleagues,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “His death is a tragedy for his field, for Case Western Reserve and, most of all, for his family. We extend our deepest sympathies to all who are grieving this terrible loss.”

Professor Smith, 45, earned his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in England and then spent two years as a research fellow in Austria. He joined Case Western Reserve in 1994, launching an academic career that quickly drew attention and accolades. Smith’s work focused on understanding how and why neurons cease to function in cases of neurodegenerative diseases. He published more than 800 peer-reviewed articles, and his work was cited more than 21,000 times. In 2007, he was named as the 21st most-cited author (of 3,170) in the fields of neuroscience and behavior over the previous 10 years. In 2009, he was named the No. 3 Alzheimer's investigator in the world in a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Along with this international recognition, Professor Smith also earned multiple campus awards for teaching and mentoring.  In 2009, he received the J. Bruce Jackson, M.D., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, one of the highest University honors given to a member of the faculty. Read more.

Campus News

The Daily will not be published Dec. 24-Jan. 2. Check for any important updates.

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There will be a planned outage of services for the Student Information System (SIS) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 2. This is to allow Information Technology Services (ITS) to perform scheduled maintenance to the system. During this time the SIS will be unavailable. If you have additional questions about this outage please contact the ITS Help Desk 216.368.HELP (4357) or go to

For Faculty and Staff

The Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL) announces its 2011 seed grant program, open to all Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic faculty interested in developing research projects on ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) in the design and conduct of human genetic research, the translation of research results into clinical medicine, public health and health policy needs related to genetics. These grants are designed to support exploratory efforts toward the development of larger scholarly projects or lines of research related to CGREAL’s mission. The evaluation will focus on the potential for expanding and enriching perspectives brought to genetic research ethics and law at CGREAL and evidence of interdisciplinary collaboration. Preference will be given to projects that are likely to foster further research that could attract outside support.

Requests may be made for up to $5,000 per year. Funds may not be used for faculty salary support. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the first round of projects likely will be funded in January 2011. To apply, send a statement of project goals, resource needs and a preliminary project timeline to Richard Sharp, 216.445.1257, or Patricia Marshall, 216.368.2502. Contact Sharp or Marshall for questions.

For Students

Kelvin Smith Library's holiday hours include online access and expert reference help with research, even during the long holiday weekends. This week, KSL is open until Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and will be open New Year's week Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Go online for information on early January hours and later evenings the week before classes begin.


Over the last week the Red Cross has been unable to collect more than 500 blood donations for patients at local hospitals because of weather related issues. The American Red Cross fears that additional drives may cancel, putting a further strain on an already less than sufficient blood supply. To help, make an appointment and encourage others to attend the next on-campus blood drive, held at 1-2-1 Fitness Center from 2 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 28. Make an appointment online or stop by and save a life this holiday season.

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Sequentia: Ensemble for Medieval Music

The 25th season of Chapel, Court & Countryside: Early Music at Harkness continues at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 with Sequentia: Ensemble for Medieval Music's show “Voices from the Island Sanctuary”: Ecclesiastical Singers in Paris (1180–1230). Sequentia is one of the world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music. An international group of singers and instrumentalists, it is united in Paris under the direction of the legendary performer and teacher Benjamin Bagby. Ticket information is available online.

Dec. 21, 2010

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In the News

Facts About Small Business Taxpayers

Small Business Trends, Dec. 20, 2010
In order to understand U.S. tax policy, it's important to understand how taxes affect small business owners. Scott Shane, A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, explains what IRS data shows about small business owners and taxes.

The Genome's Dark Matter

Technology Review, January/February 2011
DNA may not account for your entire genetic fate; researchers are trying to determine what makes up the rest. For example, David Buchner, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, found that in genetically engineered mice, one strain of DNA has a genetic variant that confers resistance to obesity. This resistance can be passed on through the paternal line to offspring who don't inherit the variant, and its presence could inhibit diet-induced obesity and reduce appetite in mice that were genetically predisposed to being overweight.

What Do We Know About Faith?

WCPN, Dec. 14, 2010
Is it important to know details of your religion to be faithful? Do atheists and agnostics really know more than religious individuals? Timothy Beal, professor of religion at Case Western Reserve University, and Mano Singham, director of Case Western Reserve University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, join other guests to debate the topic.

Higher Ed News

Picking on Social Science

Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 21, 2010
As Republicans prepare to take control of the House of Representatives, threats are already beginning over federal funding for social and behavioral science research. These attacks, some say, signal that larger and more polarizing battles over science, federal policy and money could be on the way.