Ken Smith is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. His laboratory studies immunological mechanisms underlying immune-mediated disease and immunodeficiency in humans.
The lab runs a translational program in autoimmune disease 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. He leads the 29 centre Wellcome-funded “INTREPID” collaboration that is using whole genome sequencing and integrative omic analysis in a large cohort to understand primary immune deficiency. By integrating genetics with human and animal studies, the laboratory tries to explore fundamental immunological mechanisms that are relevant to human disease, and to translate these results into applications of direct benefit to patients. During the pandemic the lab initiated the NIHR COVID BioResource to explore SARS-CoV-2 immunity.
Ken also directs the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID). He trained in nephrology and clinical immunology in Melbourne, and completed his PhD at the WEHI. He is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and runs an MRC Programme, was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006, to the American Association of Physicians in 2020, and was awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize in 2007.