Sonali Smith,MD: 2022 Recipient of the Arthur Rubenstein Faculty Mentorship Award

Sonali M. Smith, MD, the Elwood V. Jensen Professor of Medicine & Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology has been selected as the 2022 recipient of DOM Arthur Rubenstein Faculty Mentorship Award.

Dr. Smith is an internationally recognized expert in lymphoma therapeutics who has made outstanding contributions to the field through her clinical care, significant scholarship and educational roles, and clinical research. She arrived in the Department of Medicine as a hematology/oncology fellow in 1998 and served as chief fellow for one year. In 2001 she was appointed to the faculty as an instructor. In 2017 she was promoted to professor and honored as the Elwood V. Jensen Professor of Medicine. In November 2020, she was appointed as chief of HO  following an extensive national search and after serving in an interim capacity for over one year

Dr. Smith has served as the Director of the Lymphoma Program since 2011; she also serves as the Co-Leader for the Cancer Service Line.  Dr. Smith has been recognized for her educational contributions with election to the Pritzker School of Medicine’s Academy of Distinguished Medical Educators and as a Senior Faculty Scholar in the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence.

In addition to her institutional roles, Dr. Smith serves in a number of leadership positions with national and international visibility within the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Lymphoma Committee and American Society for Clinical Oncology ( ASCO). She serves as a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Lymphoma Steering Committee and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Dr. Smith has chaired and organized the International John Ultmann Chicago Lymphoma Symposium, for nearly 20 years and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer and Annals of Lymphoma. As a scholar, she has published nearly 200 publications and lectures extensively to peers and/or patient audiences nationally and internationally.

Dr. Smith is a renowned clinical investigator in lymphoma and a clinical expert in mature lymphoid malignancies, including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. She has authored or co-authored dozens of clinical trials and has participated in many more with key input in the clinical design, determination of endpoints, and analysis. Dr. Smith is particularly interested in targeted agents and pathway inhibitors and has first and senior author publications through cooperative group trials and investigator-initiated trials. A significant portion of her research has focused on prognosis and the ability to deliver individualized therapy.

Dr. Smith has won numerous teaching awards and considers mentorship a key aspect of her career. Most recently, she was honored as the 2021 recipient of ASCO Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of her impact on trainees in the practice of cancer medicine.


For this award, Dr. Smith was cited by her nominators as having  “benefitted tremendously” from her clinical and professional mentorship.