Robin L. Smith, MD, MBA

Author, Industry Leader, Influencer


Dr. Robin L. Smith, age 54, is a business leader, entrepreneur, medical doctor and philanthropist and is uniquely positioned to assist public companies and health care systems successfully advance in the rapidly evolving health care industry. She received her BA from Yale, MD from the Yale School of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and completed the Stanford University Directors Program. Dr. Smith is a trailblazer in the fields of regenerative medicine and predictive analytics and has focused on turnarounds, M&A and disruptive innovations driving interest and growth. 

In 2005, she was recruited to turn around Phase 3 Medical a bulletin board company with a non-sustainable plan. She became chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 2006 and created the NeoStem family of companies (NASDAQ: NBS) where she pioneered the company’s innovative business model: combining proprietary cell therapy development with successful contract development and manufacturing organization that was sold to Hitachi for $100m dollars. During her nine-year tenure, Dr. Smith raised over $200 million and completed six acquisitions and one divestiture, The company won an array of industry awards and business recognition including a first-place ranking in the tri-state area (two years in a row), and eleventh place nationally, on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 and received Frost & Sullivan’s North American Cell Therapeutics Technology Innovation Leadership Award. 

Dr. Smith has served as an independent director on multiple public company boards and has served or chaired multiple committees including audit, nominating and governance, compensation and science and technology. Dr. Smith joined the board of CNS Response, Inc., an over-the-counter, insolvent company developing a clinical decision support tool for the treatment of non-psychotic mental health diagnoses. Through her leadership as chairman, she raised capital and restructured the company so that it was uplisted to NASDAQ (MYND). Through M&A and recruiting new leadership, she has put the company in a position to be a leading behavioral organization with tools and technologies to address an unmet medical need: improving access to care and lowering cost. Dr. Smith also joined the Rockwell Medical board (NASDAQ: RMTI) in 2016 during an activist takeover battle protecting the interest of shareholders. She also serves on other NASDAQ boards including Seelos Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SEEL). Dr. Smith has served on private boards including BioXcel Holdings where she helped the management accelerate shareholder value by segregating its assets and advancing the technologies and therapeutic development.  She additionally founded and co-chaired the Life Sci advisory board on gender diversity, serves on Sanford Health’s International board, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Foundation board and the board of overseers at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. She previously served on the board of trustees of the NYU Langone Medical Center and is the past chairman of the board of directors for the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases. She was also appointed as a clinical associate professor, Department of Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 2017. 

Dr. Smith has coauthored two books: Cells Are the New Cure (2017) and The Healing Cell: How the Greatest Revolution in Medical History Is Changing Your Life (2013). She maintained a regular column for the Huffington Post for six years. Dr. Smith has been widely recognized for her leadership in health care and has received the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) 2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award for International Diplomacy in 2019 and the 2018 HEALinc Future Health Humanitarian Award.  She has been widely recognized for her work as a female entrepreneur and received the Business Intelligence Group’s Woman of the Year Award in 2018 and the 2018 Gold Stevie® Award for Woman of the Year – Government of Non-Profit. She is also a winner of the 2014 Brava! Award, which recognizes top women business leaders in the Greater New York area. Dr. Smith was elected to the 2018 NACD Directorship 100: Directors list by the NACD Directorship magazine for her work and expertise in corporate governance. She was also a finalist for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the New York area, recognizing entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and success in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. In April 2016, Pope Francis awarded Dr. Smith the title of Dame Commander with Star Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr. Dr. Smith received the Lifetime Achievement in Healthcare and Science Award by The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in May 2017. 

In 2007, Dr. Smith founded the Stem for Life Foundation (SFLF), a nonpartisan 501(c)3 educational organization devoted to fostering global awareness of the potential for regenerative medicine to treat and cure a range of deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions, as opposed to merely treating their symptoms. In 2010, in order to bring the charity’s mission to a global audience, Dr. Smith forged a historic, first-of-its-kind partnership with the Vatican. As part of this relationship, the Vatican and SFLF collaborate to create high-profile initiatives that help catalyze interest and development of cellular therapies that could ultimately reduce human suffering on a global scale. Dr. Smith has served as chairman of the board and president of the SFLF since its inception and has been expanding its mission further under the Cura Foundation brand where she is president and chairman of the board. In 2016, under Dr. Smith’s leadership the foundation launched Unite To Cure, a global health movement that builds bridges among doctors, health systems, patients, business leaders, regulators, investors, politicians, philanthropists, and leaders of faith to collaborate and speed the development of cures, impact human health and save lives. The April 2018 global Unite To Cure event held at the Vatican, reached over 2.5 billion people standing alongside the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The moderators included Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Meredith Vieira and Dr. Max Gomez. Pope Francis delivered remarks to the participants and the event featured an array of influencers, including Dr. Francis Collins, 47th U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Katy Perry, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Peter Gabriel, and over 300 doctors, scientists, philanthropists, regulators, ethicists, patients and thought leaders. There were over 3,000 separate news stories that flowed out of the Unite To Cure event and social media posts, bringing Cura’s message of hope and healing to nearly 3 billion people.