Ashley Wilder Smith


Ashley Wilder Smith, PhD, MPH, is Chief of the Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). ORB is one of three Branches of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program. Dr. Smith’s program of research focuses on developing, advancing and promoting investigations related to understanding and improving patient reported outcomes (PRO) and quality care for cancer patients, survivors and families.

In addition to overseeing ORB activities, Dr. Smith manages a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant portfolio related to:

  1. Evaluating and improving PRO/health-related quality of life and patient care quality;
  2. Identifying and addressing gaps in cancer care and outcomes across the cancer continuum, with particular emphasis on adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients and survivors; and
  3. Research addressing patient-centered health outcomes in healthcare delivery settings.

Dr. Smith is the Chief Science Officer of a trans-NIH cooperative agreement, (U2CCA186878) that supports the availability and implementation of PROMIS®, the NIH Toolbox®, Neuro-QOL, and ASCQ-Me™. Under this initiative, these four person-centered health outcome assessment systems are now offered through an integrated platform for automated use in one research resource, HealthMeasuresExternal Web Site Policy.

Dr. Smith is co-chair of the trans-NCI AYA Oncology Working Group, providing guidance and strategic planning to research activities focusing on this population and co-directing the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Outcomes and Patient Experience (AYA HOPE) Study, a SEER-based cohort study. She also serves as the NCI lead of the Health, Eating, Activity, & Lifestyle (HEAL) Study of Breast Cancer Prognosis.

Dr. Smith earned her MS and PhD degrees in Health Psychology in 1999 and 2002, respectively, from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship, which included earning an MPH in Epidemiology, also from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Smith joined the Outcomes Research Branch in 2006 and became Branch Chief in 2014. She is the recipient of several awards for leadership and excellence in research from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, as well as awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Preventive Oncology.