Red Blood Cells and Cancer

Eileen Smith, M.D., named Hematology Head at City of Hope

Eileen Smith

Eileen Smith, M.D.

After more than 30 years of leadership as chair of City of Hope’s Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Stephen J. Forman, M.D., has decided to transition out of this role but to continue in his roles as director of the Hematologic Malignancies Research Institute and director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory. Eileen Smith, M.D., medical director of City of Hope’s Alpha Stem Cell Clinic, associate director of the Clinical Research Program, clinical professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, has been appointed chair of the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
Forman, an internationally recognized expert in leukemia, lymphoma, bone marrow transplantation and CAR T cell, has been instrumental in advancing survival rates for blood cancers. Under his leadership, the program completed its 15,000th bone marrow transplant (BMT) last year, making it one of the largest and most successful programs in the nation, now performing nearly 800 transplants annually. For 15 consecutive years, City of Hope’s BMT program is the only one in the nation that has had one-year survival above the expected rate, according to Center for International Bone and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Forman has received many accolades throughout his career, including the 2019 DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award.
Stephen Forman

Stephen Forman, M.D.

Over the years and under Forman’s leadership, City of Hope’s BMT program also helped pioneer many BMT innovations that have improved the outcomes for patients. In addition to being one of the first institutions to perform BMTs in older adults, it was also one of the first programs to show that BMTs could be safely performed for patients with HIV. Forman and his colleagues’ research in CAR T cell therapy has helped City of Hope become one of the major centers to develop cellular therapies to treat both hematologic cancers and solid tumors.   
A respected specialist in the field of hematology and cell transplantation, Smith joined City of Hope nearly three decades ago as the inaugural fellow in bone marrow transplantation. She later joined the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Team at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics and served as director of the program. Smith returned to City of Hope in 2003 as the associate director of the Clinical Research Program. In 2010, she became a clinical professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, and in 2011, an associate member of the Hematologic Malignancies Program. She has participated in successive generations of clinical trials that have moved the field of blood and marrow transplantation forward. 
Smith is a clinician, educator and administrative leader. Her research interest is in Hodgkin lymphoma and she is a physician co-leader of the multidisciplinary Theranostics Modality Team at City of Hope, initiated in August 2016, with the charge of promoting, reviewing and prioritizing research proposals of novel radiopharmaceuticals for imaging protocols and radioimmunotherapy-based interventional trials for cancer patients.
In her new role as chair of the department, Smith will provide oversight of all clinical treatments to improve outcomes for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome and any other hematologic condition. 
Smith received her B.S. in biology from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and her medical degree from University of Southern California School of Medicine where she also did a fellowship in hematology.