Our researchers - Professor Ken Smith

Professor Ken Smith

Professor Ken Smith

Head of Department; Professor of Medicine

University of Cambridge

Department of Medicine


University profile

Contributing to research themes:

Ken Smith’s laboratory studies immunological mechanisms underlying immune-mediated disease and immunodeficiency in humans. The lab 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. It leads the NIHR BioResource Rare Diseases Primary immunodeficiency programme. By integrating genetics with human and animal studies and using advanced bioinformatic methodology, 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 has led a programme focussed on immune responses to SARS-CoV-2.

Ken is Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and directs the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease. He trained in nephrology and clinical immunology in Melbourne, and completed his PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. He is a Wellcome Trust Investigator, 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.