Smith, Terry J. MD

Feb 13, 2020 | Investigator Profiles

Terry J. Smith, MD

Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine


Dr. Smith, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan, is an internationally known endocrinologist who has studied Graves’ disease, its eye manifestations, and related autoimmune disease for over 20 years. 


Research conducted in Dr. Smith’s laboratory led to the identification of unique molecular attributes in the tissue surrounding the eye, which helped to explain the increased susceptibility to inflammation in patients with Graves’ disease. Dr. Smith described a novel autoantibody that binds to and may activate a specific receptor that leading to an exaggerated autoimmune response. This work led to the identification of potential therapeutic targets that, when disrupted, may halt progression of the thyroid eye disease process.


It was this pioneering work that was the basis for development of teprotumumab, the first pharmacological therapy to alter the severity of symptom relief for this disfiguring, painful and potentially blinding thyroid-related eye disease. The U.S. FDA approved Tepezza (teprotumumab) in January of 2020 for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. Tepezza is manufactured by Horizon Therapeutics.


Dr. Smith received his medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He has completed fellowships in biophysics at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, in molecular biochemistry at Columbia University in New York, and clinical endocrinology at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.


Dr. Smith is the author of over 150 articles and book chapters and has been awarded five patents for his research discoveries. He has been elected to the Orbit Society, is chief scientific officer for the National Graves’ Foundation, and serves as reviewer for numerous scientific journals. Dr. Smith has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration since 1983.

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