Laura S. Connelly-Smith, MBBCh, DM

Laura S. Connelly-Smith, MBBCh, DM

Laura S. Connelly-Smith, MBBCh, DM

  • Medical Director, Apheresis and Cellular Therapy, Fred Hutch
  • Medical Director, Cell Processing Facility, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine


Cancer and Organ Transplant

“The mark of a good day is being able to make a positive difference, whether big or small, in at least one person’s life.”

— Dr. Connelly-Smith

What do you enjoy about working in the field of stem cell transplantation?

The decision to undergo a stem cell transplant is a big one. For many patients, it’s one of the most intense medical treatments they will ever experience, and it may be their only chance of survival. I respect the time, thought and emotional energy that goes into choosing a transplant and then seeing the process through. One of the reasons I love going to work each morning is that I have the opportunity to live out my mantra: Make a positive difference in at least one person’s life every day. Sometimes that difference is big, like being able to tell a patient that their treatment has been successful, and sometimes it’s small — relieving someone’s headache or nausea or even just sharing serious news in a sensitive, caring way.

What’s it like to work with you?

Cancer care isn’t just about finding the right medication or therapy; it’s equally important to consider how that medication or therapy will affect your life. I put a lot of thought into plotting the best course of treatment for each person, which depends on a variety of factors, such as your type of cancer, your goals for treatment, the state of your health and your level of support. I’m very honest and open in my communication with you. I try to use a story-like approach to explain what’s happening because it makes it easier to retain information and participate in decisions about your care.

Provider Background

Area of Clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Hematologic Malignancies

Hematologic Malignancies
I specialize in treating patients who have hematological malignancies, such as leukemia, with blood stem cell transplantation. My expertise includes providing post-transplant care for patients with very complex transplant-related complications. At Fred Hutch, I serve as the medical director of apheresis and cellular therapy. In this role, I oversee the safe collection and processing of stem cells as well as other cellular therapy products. I’m also directly involved in procuring bone marrow donations. In addition to working with patients, I study how to improve the donor experience during stem cell collection. I’m also investigating how extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) — a form of light therapy — can be used to treat patients with graft-versus-host disease, a potentially life-threatening condition that can develop after a stem cell transplant. I serve as the chair of the ECP subcommittee for the American Society of Apheresis.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Medical Degree
University of the Witwatersrand

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, United Kingdom, Internal Medicine

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, United Kingdom, Hematology; Nottingham University Hospital, United Kingdom, Hematology; Lincoln County Hospital, Hematology

Internship, Colchester General Hospital, General Internal Medicine; Internship, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, Surgery


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Ali Al-Johani Award
Dr. Connelly-Smith received the 2019 Ali Al-Johani Award, which recognizes excellence in clinical patient care.


All news
Dr. Laura Connelly-Smith receives Dr. Ali Al-Johani Award for exceptional patient care A hematologist who 'personifies the joys of working at a place like the Hutch' March 4, 2019

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch physicians. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your physician can decide if a study is right for you.

View Clinical Trials


Many of our Fred Hutch physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch physician has written.

View Dr. Connelly-Smith's Publications

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dieticians, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.


Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with providers.

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