G. Richard Smith, M.D.
Dean, College of Medicine
Vice Chancellor, UAMS
G. Richard Smith, M.D., was a faculty member for 32 years and chair of the Department of Psychiatry for 12 years before becoming dean of the College of Medicine and vice chancellor of UAMS in May 2013.
Dr. Smith was the founding director of the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute, which opened in December 2008 to combine comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care, research and educational programs in one location.
Long active in research, Dr. Smith developed several highly regarded programs, including the Division of Health Services Research, one of the nation’s largest research groups dedicated to mental health and substance abuse.
He was the first director of the Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development (VA HSR&D) Field Program for Mental Health in Little Rock in 1990-1999 and served as principal investigator on numerous grants funded by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and other entities for over two decades.
Dr. Smith was the founding director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and a leader in securing the state’s tobacco settlement to improve health care for Arkansans.
The Jonesboro native received his bachelor’s degree in chemical biology from Rhodes College in Memphis. He graduated from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1977 and stayed at UAMS for his internship and residency in psychiatry. Dr. Smith continued his training with a fellowship in psychiatry and internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y.
Dr. Smith returned to UAMS as a faculty member in 1981. He became the Marie Wilson Howells Professor and Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2001.
Lawrence E. Cornett, Ph.D.
Executive Associate Dean for Research
UAMS Vice Chancellor for Research
Lawrence E. Cornett, Ph.D., a professor of physiology and biophysics, joined the faculty in 1980 after receiving his doctoral degree in physiology from the University of California, Davis and completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. He has served as executive associate dean for research and UAMS vice chancellor for research since 2007. As director of the Arkansas INBRE program and past director of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Dr. Cornett has expanded and strengthened the state’s biomedical research infrastructure by developing a multidisciplinary research network, improving access to new technologies and enhancing science-based economic development.
Dr. Cornett continues to direct an active research laboratory focused on the role of beta2-adrenergic receptors in pulmonary function and the hormonal regulation of stress responses at the level of the anterior pituitary gland. He is active in national organizations that support biomedical research, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) GRAND Steering Committee, and is a member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute Board and the EPSCoR/IDEA Foundation Board.
Charles W. Smith, M.D.
Executive Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs
Charles W. Smith, M.D., completed his residency training in family medicine. He previously was a family practice residency director and served as president of the American Board of Family Practice from 1991 to 1996. He came to UAMS as executive associate dean for clinical affairs and medical director for University Hospital.
Dr. Smith is co-editor in chief of the Journal of Participatory Medicine, an online, peer-reviewed Journal. Dr. Smith’s medical practice includes a diagnostic clinic for complex patients as well as a panel of patients for whom he provides primary care. His clinical interests include use of the internet to improve health care, fitness and lifestyle issues in preventive health and the psychosocial aspects of medical illnesses. He also serves in the family practice teaching program. As director of the Faculty Group Practice, Dr. Smith works to enhance patient care, patient satisfaction, coordination with referring physicians, information technology applications, risk management and practice development.
Richard P. Wheeler, M.D.
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Fayetteville native Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1972. Dr. Wheeler received his medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1976. Continuing at UAMS, he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in nephrology. He is board certified in both specialty areas. Dr. Wheeler’s interest in medical education developed while directing the junior internal medicine clerkship. He joined the College’s administration as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education in 1987 and assumed his current post in 1989.
Dr. Wheeler is a past regional and national Chair of the Group on Student Affairs with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). His major interest outside of medicine is music. He played the saxophone in school, all the way through the Razorback Band in college. Dr. Wheeler currently serves on the Board of the Arkansas Symphony.
Susan Bell Leόn, M.M.
Associate Dean for Finance and Administration
Susan Bell Leόn received her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Missouri and her Master of Music degree from Yale University. She became a certified public accountant in 1992 and joined the College of Medicine in 1993 as the research and clinical programs manager in the Dean’s Office. She became director of finance in 1997 and assistant dean for finance in 2003 before assuming her current post as associate dean for finance and administration in September 2011.
Among many contributions to the COM, Ms. Leόn has championed research initiatives across the enterprise, served as the primary liaison between the college and the campus on financial management and accounting-related issues, and been an integral part of campus and college budgeting, financial reporting, process redesign and operational problem solving.