David Weyhe Smith

David Weyhe Smith (September 24, 1926 – January 23, 1981) was an American pediatrician and dysmorphologist.

Smith was born in Oakland, California. He gained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and worked with Lawson Wilkins in the field of pediatric endocrinology.[1] He began working at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 1958, and became a professor of pediatrics there. From 1966 until the end of his career he was at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work in dysmorphology was recognized worldwide.

His book Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation is considered a key work in the field. He also published five other monographs as well as nearly 200 papers.[2][3] The condition known as Aase–Smith syndrome is named for Smith and colleague Jon Morton Aase. Smith also co-discovered and lent his name to such conditions as Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome, Marshall–Smith syndrome and others.

Fetal alcohol syndrome was named in 1973 by Smith and Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones, who identified a pattern of "craniofacial, limb, and cardiovascular defects associated with prenatal onset growth deficiency and developmental delay" in eight unrelated children of three ethnic groups, all born to mothers who were alcoholics.[4] Smith and Jones built upon the pioneering work of French pediatrician Dr. Paul Lemoine from Nantes, France. In 1968, Lemoine published a study of the common physical and behavioral characteristics of 172 children born to alcoholic mothers.[Children of Alcoholic Parents—Observed Anomalies: Discussion of 127 Cases; Lemoine, P.; Harousseau, H.; Borteyru, J. P.; Menuet, J. C. Author Information Dr. Paul Lemoine, 15, Rue Alfred-De-Musset, 44000 Nantes, France Published originally in Ouest Med. 1968;8:476–482. Translated and published in English with permission of Ouest Medical and Dr. Lemoine. The original abstract was published in Arch Fr Pediatr. 1967;25:830–832.]

Smith died of cancer in Seattle.


  1. ^ American Journal of Pediatrics Obituary
  2. ^ Smith, David W. (1970). "Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation: Genetic, Embryologic, and Clinical Aspects". Major Problems in Clinical Pediatrics. 7: 368. PMID 5538320.
  3. ^ McKusick, Victor A. (May 1973). "Recognizable patterns of human malformation: Genetic, embryologic, and clinical aspects". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 23 (3): 327. PMC 1706730.
  4. ^ Jones K.L.; Smith D. W. (1973). "Recognition of the fetal alcohol syndrome in early infancy". Lancet. 2 (7836): 999–1001. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(73)91092-1. PMID 4127281.

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