News - Greenville College Grants Neurosurgeon Kenneth Smith Honorary Doctorate

Greenville College Grants Neurosurgeon Kenneth Smith Honorary Doctorate

Greenville College Grants Neurosurgeon Kenneth Smith Honorary Doctorate

Dr. Kenneth R. Smith, Jr. received an honorary doctorate of science during afternoon Commencement exercises at Greenville College on May 27. President Ivan Filby presented the award, citing Smith’s contributions to medicine and the medical community, to his profession and to Greenville College.

Smith attended Greenville College from 1950-53, before entering Washington University School of Medicine. He interned at Johns Hopkins and completed his residency in neurosurgery in 1963 at Barnes Hospital.

Neurosurgeon, Researcher, Teacher

A fellowship from the National Institute of Health funded Smith’s neuroanatomical research at Washington University in 1964 and Oriel College, Oxford University the following year. He then joined the surgery faculty at Saint Louis University, where he founded a training program for resident neurosurgeons in 1969.

In the 37 years that followed, Smith served as director and professor of neurosurgery, while continuing to practice surgery. He taught more than 30 neurosurgical residents, who now practice all over the United States and abroad in Egypt, Thailand, Kenya and South Korea. Smith helped educate thousands of medical students; he is currently emeritus professor of neurosurgery at St. Louis University.

Global Influence, Continued Research

Smith practiced neurosurgery in Nairobi, Kenya, from 2000-2004 and helped to start a neurosurgical residency program in East Africa. He co-founded the Practical Anatomy Workshop of Saint Louis, where thousands of neurosurgeons worldwide have learned surgical techniques from leading neurosurgeons.

Smith has published many research articles in major medical neurosurgical journals. His research on strokes took him to clinics and hospitals throughout Missouri and Illinois. The National Institute of Health funded his research in malignant brain tumors and severe brain injury.

Contributions to Technology

Smith also assisted in the installation of a bionic eye, which gave visual clues using computer technology to people who were completely blind. He participated in the development of the Stealth Station—a computer guided surgical system used in neurosurgery and other specialties in operating rooms throughout the world. He also helped design the first 3D television recordings of neurosurgical operations.  Smith has served as an officer of local, state, national and international neurosurgical societies and presided over the Society of Neurological Surgeons and the Society of University Neurosurgeons.

Dr. Smith’s greatest asset in life is Marjorie (Sandin ’56) Smith, his wife of more than 60 years. The Smiths raised seven children together, and have 12 grandchildren.

Learn more

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This story was published on June 13, 2017

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