A photo of Luke Smart.

Luke R. Smart, MD

  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  • UC Department of Internal Medicine



My clinical specialty is non-malignant hematological conditions, especially those that affect patients across the life span. I completed a dual residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics and a dual fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology and adult hematology. In my practice, I see patients at Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati (UC). I am the director of the adult sickle cell clinic at UC.

I enjoy working with patients across the age-span and with their family members, whether they are the parents of a pediatric patient or the children of an adult patient. I like educating patients so they understand how the healthcare system functions, how their disease works and how to advocate for themselves. I enjoy answering difficult questions and working with a team of people to provide the optimal care that I could not achieve alone.

My research interest is hematological conditions in low-resource settings, especially sickle cell disease in sub-Saharan Africa. I have described the epidemiology of diseases, investigated new diagnostic tests and studied the best way to treat these diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. I became interested in this work when I completed a four-year global health fellowship under Weill Cornell Medicine. I spent those years living in Tanzania at a referral and teaching hospital, working as a clinician, educator and researcher. I saw that hematological disease in general, and sickle cell disease specifically, were prevalent and painful conditions that often led to hospitalization and death. I enjoyed working with local faculty who focused on treatments for hematological disorders. Overall, my goal is to improve the lives of people with hematological diseases, especially sickle cell disease, in low-resource settings.

I have been privileged to participate in two American Society of Hematology training programs. I was a recipient of a Research Training Award for Fellows in my final year of fellowship and was accepted into the Clinical Research Training Institute as a junior faculty. Both of these are tremendous honors and they provided significant support for my early research career.

During my fellowship, I also received a Thrasher Foundation early career award that allowed me to investigate a novel color-based point-of-care diagnostic device for anemia in Africa. Performing clinical research in low-resource settings can be challenging. Still, it's essential that we conduct research where people, especially children, are most affected by disease to improve children's lives around the world.

Undergraduate: University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD.

MD: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Residency: Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY.


Hematology/oncology; global hematology; clinical research; non-malignant hematology; adolescent and young adult hematology/oncology; transition to adult care

Services and Specialties

Cancer and Blood Diseases


Dr. Smart's research time is focused on collaborative clinical research in Tanzania. Together with colleagues from Tanzania they have determined the district prevalence of sickle cell disease in northwest Tanzania, tested accuracy and operability of diagnostic devices for anemia and sickle cell disease, and are now investigating the use of hydroxyurea for primary stroke prevention in sickle cell disease in Tanzania. He has received funding from the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, the Thrasher Foundation, the American Society of Hematology, and the NIH.

Research Areas


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Prospective identification of variables as outcomes for treatment (PIVOT): study protocol for a randomised, placebo-controlled trial of hydroxyurea for Ghanaian children and adults with haemoglobin SC disease. Smart, LR; Segbefia, CI; Latham, TS; Stuber, SE; Amissah-Arthur, KN; Dzefi-Tettey, K; Lane, AC; Dei-Adomakoh, YA; Ware, RE. Trials. 2023; 24:603.

A Novel, Rapid, and Accurate Quantitative Hydroxyurea Assay. McElhinney, K; Smart, LR; Howard, TA; Power-Hays, A; Ware, RE. Blood. 2023; 142:2530.

Improving Transition of Emerging Adults with Sickle Cell Disease to Adult Care through a Multidisciplinary Process: The Development of a Transition Clinic to Support Transition Success. Fenchel, L; Jackson, F; Walker, B; Manuel, C; Hooks, D; Allen, T; Thant, MM; Karkoska, K; Smart, LR; Joffe, NE; et al. Blood. 2023; 142:5055.

Risk of Bacteremia in Febrile Children and Young Adults With Sickle Cell Disease in a Multicenter Emergency Department Cohort. Rineer, S; Walsh, PS; Smart, LR; Harun, N; Schnadower, D; Lipshaw, MJ. JAMA Network Open. 2023; 6:e2318904.

Hydroxyurea pharmacokinetics and precision dosing in low-resource settings. Smart, LR; Charles, M; McElhinney, KE; Dong, M; Power-Hays, A; Howard, T; Vinks, AA; Ambrose, EE; Ware, RE. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 2023; 10:1130206.

Hydroxyurea with dose escalation for primary stroke risk reduction in children with sickle cell anaemia in Tanzania (SPHERE): an open-label, phase 2 trial. Ambrose, EE; Latham, TS; Songoro, P; Charles, M; Lane, AC; Stuber, SE; Makubi, AN; Ware, RE; Smart, LR. The Lancet Haematology. 2023; 10:e261-e271.

Hydroxyurea treatment is associated with lower malaria incidence in children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa. Olupot-Olupot, P; Tomlinson, G; Williams, TN; Tshilolo, L; Santos, B; Smart, LR; McElhinney, K; Howard, TA; Aygun, B; Stuber, SE; et al. Blood. 2023; 141:1402-1410.

Stroke Prevention with Hydroxyurea Enabled through Research and Education: A Phase 2 Primary Stroke Prevention Trial in Sub-Saharan Africa. Smart, LR; Ambrose, EE; Balyorugulu, G; Songoro, P; Shabani, I; Komba, P; Charles, M; Howard, TA; McElhinney, KE; O'Hara, SM; et al. Acta Haematologica. 2023; 146:95-105.

Health Related Quality of Life among Children with Sickle Cell Anaemia in Northwestern Tanzania. Mwazyunga, Z; Ambrose, EE; Kayange, N; Bakalemwa, R; Kidenya, B; Smart, LR; Hokororo, A. 2022; 12:11-28.

Pediatric Hydrocephalus in Northwest Tanzania: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study of Clinical Characteristics and Early Surgical Outcomes from the Bugando Medical Centre. Aukrust, CG; Parikh, K; Smart, LR; Mdala, I; Fjeld, HE; Lubuulwa, J; Makene, AM; Härtl, R; Winkler, AS. World Neurosurgery. 2022; 161:e339-e346.

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