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angle-left Benjamin Smith, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC

Scientist, RI-MUHC,

Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program

Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, MUHC



obstructive lung diseases • imaging • cardiopulmonary physiology

Research Focus

My research focuses on investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of obstructive lung diseases in order to improve clinically meaningful outcomes. Obstructive lung disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma) represents a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, and in Canada. My research integrates methods of population-based epidemiology, state-of-the-art-imaging, and physiology in order to understand disease pathogenesis and expose targetable mechanisms of functional impairment. My specific areas of interest include airway structure and developmental susceptibility to obstructive lung disease; the personalization of obstructive lung disease prevention and treatment based on airway anatomy; and the cardiotoxic effects of breathing mechanics in obstructive lung disease. My clinical and academic interests include improving the quality of lung cancer diagnosis and staging, and medical education.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Smith BM, Hoffman EA, Rabinowitz D, Bleecker E, Christenson S, Couper D, Donohue KM, Han MK, Hansel NN, Kanner RE, Kleerup E, Rennard S, Barr RG. Comparison of spatially matched airways reveals thinner airway walls in COPD. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) COPD Study and the Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcomes in COPD Study (SPIROMICS). Thorax. 2014 Nov;69(11):987-96. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-205160. Epub 2014 Jun 13. PMID: 24928812.

  • Smith BM, Kawut SM, Bluemke DA, Basner RC, Gomes AS, Hoffman E, Kalhan R, Lima JA, Liu CY, Michos ED, Prince MR, Rabbani L, Rabinowitz D, Shimbo D, Shea S, Barr RG. Pulmonary hyperinflation and left ventricular mass: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis COPD Study. Circulation. 2013 Apr 9;127(14):1503-11, 1511e1-6. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001653. Epub 2013 Mar 14. PMID: 23493320.

  • Smith BM, Hoffman EA, Basner RC, Kawut SM, Kalhan R, Barr RG. Not all measures of hyperinflation are created equal: lung structure and clinical correlates of gas trapping and hyperexpansion in COPD: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) COPD Study. Chest. 2014 Jun;145(6):1305-15. doi: 10.1378/chest.13-1884. PMID: 24481056.

  • Smith BM, Austin JH, Newell JD Jr, D'Souza BM, Rozenshtein A, Hoffman EA, Ahmed F, Barr RG. Pulmonary emphysema subtypes on computed tomography: the MESA COPD study. Am J Med. 2014 Jan;127(1):94.e7-23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.09.020. Epub 2013 Oct 9. PMID: 24384106.

  • Smith BM, Prince MR, Hoffman EA, Bluemke DA, Liu CY, Rabinowitz D, Hueper K, Parikh MA, Gomes AS, Michos ED, Lima JA, Barr RG. Impaired left ventricular filling in COPD and emphysema: is it the heart or the lungs? The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis COPD Study. Chest. 2013 Oct;144(4):1143-51. doi: 10.1378/chest.13-0183. PMID: 23764937.