Smyre has been credited with getting private and state funding for research at the school. The Georgia Research Alliance announced last year a $15 million public-private partnership to find new treatments and therapies for sickle cell disease. Morehouse School of Medicine is part of the alliance. An endowed research chair was named after Smyre.
Smyre, who turned 75 on Wednesday, has been Morehouse School of Medicine’s board of trustees for 41 years. He announced his retirement from the Georgia House of Representatives this year after 48 years. President Joe Biden nominated Smyre to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas.