As the dean of College of Business & Public Affairs at Alabama A&M University, Del Smith has spent the past five years developing the business program and curriculum, along with expanding its focus to include minority-based entrepreneurship.
At the end of this year, Smith will be dialing back on his academic duties and diving deeper into his role at Acclinate Genetics.
Smith plans to continue his duties at A&M and his transition is unlikely to provoke a huge ripple of change. But, instead, it may produce a gentle wave of inspiration.
Young, aspiring entrepreneurs will always need role models and mentors. Smith walks the entrepreneurial talk and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise in the interest of growing future business leaders.
Smith is co-founder and CEO of Acclinate Genetics, a minority-owned company that strives to achieve health equity and personalized health care for all by diversifying genomic data and clinical research. Acclinate is based at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.
Diversity representation in clinical studies is essential when it comes to finding the best treatment protocol, especially one that can be tailored to the individual and quite possibly, save their life.
Racial and ethnic minorities make up 40 percent of the U.S. population. But when it comes to medical research, minorities account for as little as 2 percent of participants in studies of new tests and treatments.
“This is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Smith said. “It only exacerbates the health inequalities we’re already dealing with in America and around the world. We believe that diversifying genomic research and clinical trials to include more representation and diversity increases knowledge about health issues and makes a difference in personalized health care for all.”
Through its trials and testing, Acclinate helps lower the overall cost of drug development while increasing the speed of drug approval. And, by integrating with virtual clinical trials can contribute to the discovery of new drugs.
In addition to Acclinate, Smith is also the impetus behind #NOWINCLUDED, a movement to emphasize the importance of diversity within clinical trials.