Betty Smoot, PT, MAS, DPTSc

Associate Professor, DPT Program Director, UCSF

Mailing: UCSF, Box 0736, San Francisco, CA 94143


  • BA, Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, 1981
  • Post-baccalaureate Certificate, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1983
  • DPTSc, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco / San Francisco State University, CA, 2009
  • MAS (Masters of Advanced Studies), Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco, 2015



Dr. Smoot received her Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy (DPTSc) from the University of California, San Francisco in 2009, and joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in April 2010. In addition to Dr. Smoot's extensive teaching experience in the Program, her clinical experience has included practice in a variety of settings. As an inpatient Physical Therapist she treated patients in acute care, sub-acute, and skilled nursing facilities. As an outpatient Physical Therapist, where she spent most of her time, she treated primarily patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain using a multimodal approach (soft tissue and joint mobilization, exercise, biofeedback/relaxation training, and patient education). She has obtained certification as a massage therapist, ACSM Health and Fitness Instructor (now called ACSM-Certified Exercise Physiologist), lymphedema therapist, and ACSM/ACS Cancer Exercise Trainer. Currently, Dr. Lee and Dr. Smoot teach "Strength After Breast Cancer," a series of exercise classes for women at risk for or with breast cancer-related lymphedema. She is also a driving force behind the Breast Cancer Survivorship: UCSF Lymphedema Education and Prevention Program.

Dr. Smoot serves on the American Association of Anatomists Advisory Council for Young Anatomists. She is a member of the California Physical Therapy Association Research Council, and serves on the Conference Planning and Editorial Committees for the National Lymphedema Network.


  • PT 251 Research Design
  • PT 200 Neuromusculoskeletal Anatomy
  • PT 920/921 Case Reports


  • Effects of cancer treatment on physical function
  • Assessment of secondary lymphedema
  • Musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain


Dr. Smoot's research encompasses two related areas: 1) The effects of breast cancer treatment on upper extremity function and 2) the clinical prediction, diagnosis, and management of breast cancer-related lymphedema. Current research includes evaluation of phenotypic and genotypic predictors associated with increased risk for development of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment, collaboration with Dr. Christine Miaskowski at UCSF. Dr. Smoot also collaborates with Dr. Benjamin Boyd from Samuel Merritt University investigating upper limb mechanosensitivity and recognition of limb laterality in women after breast cancer treatment.

In 2013, she was awarded a UCSF-Kaiser/DOR Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program (BIRCWH) K12 mentored career award to support her research in assessment of breast cancer related lymphedema.


  • Smoot B, Boyd BS, Byl N, Dodd M. Mechanosensitivity in the upper extremity following breast cancer treatment. J Hand Ther. 2014; 27:4-11. PMCID: PMC3903181
  • Smoot B, Zerzan S, Krasnoff J, Wong J, Cho M, Dodd M. Bioimpedance changes after treadmill testing in women post breast cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 148:445-53. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-3171-8.PMCID: PMC4243702
  • Smoot B, Chiavola-Larson L, Lee J, Manibusan H, Allen DD. Effect of low-level laser therapy on pain and swelling in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema: A meta-analysis. J Cancer Surviv. 2015; 9:287-304.doi: 10.1007/s11764-014-0411-1. PMCID pending

View the list on Pubmed


  • Research Award, California Physical Therapy Association, 2008
  • Graduate Student Distinguished Achievement Award, San Francisco State University, 2009
  • Medi Certified Lymphedema Therapist Scholarship, Norton School of Lymphedema, 2010
  • American Association of Anatomist Training Program Scholarship, 2010
  • Faculty Publication Award, California Physical Therapy Association, 2011
  • Excellence in Teaching Award in Medical Education from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators, UCSF, 2012
  • Essential Core Teaching Award (Commitment to Teaching Category), 2013
  • UCSF-Kaiser Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Scholar, 2013
  • First Time Writers Award: Journal of Hand Therapy, 2014