In Memory of Cynthia Smith
Cynthia S. Smith, Ph.D., former chief of the Program Operations Branch in the Division of the National Toxicology Program (DNTP) passed away on March 21, 2017. The Program Operations Branch provides critical scientific and information technology expertise necessary to conduct and support NTP research efforts.
Cynthia worked at NIEHS for 16 years before retiring in 2013. She started as the NTP Chemistry Discipline leader and group leader before moving with the chemistry group to the Laboratory of Chemistry and Pharmacology. In 2007, Cynthia became chief of the Program Operations Branch, where she was instrumental in the implementation of both the “realignment” of NTP as a stand-alone program within NIEHS (for which she was awarded an NIEHS Directors Award of Merit) and establishment of the Division of NTP as a new intramural research division within NIEHS in 2011.
As NTP’s chief chemist, Cynthia played a crucial role in designing and implementing the chemistry needed to support the 2004 NTP vision and roadmap: “A National Toxicology Program for the 21st Century: A Roadmap for the Future.” The roadmap called for testing of 10,000 environmental chemicals, drugs, and formulations to broadly characterize and define their chemical reactivity in biochemical and cell-based assays.
Cynthia was a mentor to many junior and woman scientists during her tenure and devoted herself to supporting the programs of the NTP. Her achievements earned her several awards including an NIH Director’s Award, Merit Award, and an Unsung Hero Award. Cynthia led the NTP chemistry effort to expand the evaluation of internal dose in NTP studies and update the analytical techniques used to support NTP toxicology studies.
Cynthia was a talented gardener and generously shared her plants with her colleagues at NIEHS. Her giving spirit, friendship, intelligence, and good humor were appreciated by everyone who worked with her.