Professor Ken Smith FMedSci
Ken Smith is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. His laboratory studies basic immunological mechanisms and how defects in regulatory control of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity and alter defence against infection. The lab also runs a translational program in autoimmune disease (particularly SLE, vasculitis and IBD) that has led to the discovery of a prognosis-predicting biomarker entering clinical trials, and to the identification of new pathways driving disease outcomes in autoimmunity and infection. By integrating human and animal studies and using state-of-the-art bioinformatic methodology, the laboratory can explore immunological mechanisms that are relevant to human disease, and to translate these results into applications of direct benefit to patients. Ken trained in nephrology and clinical immunology with an interest in autoimmune disease at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute examined aspects of B cell immunology. Along with his laboratory work, Professor Smith is clinically active in nephrology and transplantation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He established the Cambridge Immunology Strategic Research Network, directs the FoCIS Cambridge International Centre of Excellence, and led a recent successful bid for funding to establish the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease, to open in 2018. He is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and an NIHR Senior Clinical Investigator, was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006, and was awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize in 2007 and the Distinguished Investigator Award of the Lupus Research Institute in 2013. Ken also helps promote the development of immunology research in Cambridge having established the Cambridge Immunology Strategic Network (www.immunology.cam.ac.uk).