J. Joshua Smith, MD, PhD

J. Joshua Smith, MD, PhD, FACS

Surgical Oncologist

Clinical Expertise

Rectal Cancer; Colon Cancer; Anal Cancer; Minimally Invasive Surgical Approaches; Preservation of Bowel, Bladder and Sexual Function; Colorectal Liver Metastases; Rectal Cancer Clinical Trials

New Patient Appointments

Scheduling a visit is easy. Click below or call us to get started.

Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Smith accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Contact and Location

Locations map

Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

About Me


MD, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


General Surgery - Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Complex Surgical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

American Board of Surgery

As a surgeon on the Colorectal Surgery Service, I care for people with rectal, colon, and anal cancer. Patient care in my practice revolves around selecting treatment options that will optimize patient outcomes, enhance quality of life, and adhere to a patient-centered approach. I conduct research on these diseases and have special training in surgical oncology with special emphasis in colorectal surgery. I received my MD degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and my PhD degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where I also completed my residency. 

In 2013, I joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) as a fellow in complex surgical oncology. I served as Chief Administrative Fellow for the Department of Surgery from 2014 to 2015. At MSK I have been a co-leader on the topic of watch-and-wait after clinical complete response to neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer patients on our  Colorectal Disease Management Team.  I am actively working to improve our understanding of this management strategy for rectal cancer patients on and off trial. Currently, I am a co-investigator on Dr. Paul Rommesser’s novel trial in rectal cancer patients.  Additionally, I serve on the Rectal-Anal Task Force of the National Cancer Institute’s Gastrointestinal Steering Committee and serve on the Alliance for Clinical Trials GI Surgery Working Group.

While I focus on caring for people with rectal and colon cancer,I also research how to improve responses to standard treatments for these diseases. I spend significant time doing basic and translational research in the laboratory of Charles Sawyers. My focus there is to develop better models to study rectal cancer and to uncover targeted treatments for people with rectal and colon cancer who do not respond to standard treatments. This type of research requires that I investigate the basic mechanisms and predictive markers that we can assess in the tumors of our patients with colorectal cancer. In particular, I study Smad4 loss to identify people at risk for their cancer returning.

In the past four years, I have been heavily involved with Dr. Garcia-Aguilar in administration of his National Insitutes of Health funded trial, Organ Preservation in Rectal Adenocarcinoma, for which I am an active site co-lead. We are looking into the molecular mechanisms of poor response to standard neoadjuvant chemoradiation in locally advanced rectal cancer. Furthermore, we have proposed a novel method of assessing response. We are examining this in a prospective manner to find a more precise and individualized approach to caring for people with rectal cancer. 

Patient care in my practice revolves around selecting treatment options that will optimize patient outcomes, enhance quality of life, and adhere to a patient-centered approach

Dr. Smith


Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab

Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Research and Publications

View Dr. Smith's Lab

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Smith’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.