Professor of Medicine
Head of Department
Ken Smith is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Clinical Medicine at Pembroke College, Cambridge and is the Khoo Oon Teik Professor of Nephrology, National University of Singapore. Ken studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, and completed a BMedSc in the Nuffield Department of Surgery in Oxford. He trained in nephrology with an interest in autoimmune disease at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and then completed pathology training specialising in clinical immunology. His PhD (with David Tarlinton and Gus Nossal: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) examined aspects of B cell immunology, work built upon in two years working with Douglas Fearon in Cambridge.
He now runs a laboratory in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research which has two main components. The first studies basic immunological mechanisms, and how defects in regulatory control of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity and alter defence against infection. The second component is a translational programme in autoimmune disease (particularly SLE and vasculitis) and has led to the discovery of a novel prognosis-predicting biomarker now entering clinical trials, and the identification of important genes involved in disease pathogenesis. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and in 2007 was awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize.