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Austin Smith (biologist)

Austin Gerard Smith
Born 1960
Merseyside, United Kingdom [1]
Residence Cambridge, UK
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Stem Cells
Institutions University of Cambridge
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Thesis  (1986)
Doctoral advisor Template:If empty
Notable awards Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine [2]

Austin Gerard Smith (born 1960) is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research at the University of Cambridge.[3] He is notable for his pioneering work on the biology of embryonic stem cells.[4][5]

Austin Smith obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1986.[3] He then carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford, before joining the Centre for Genome Research at the University of Edinburgh as a group leader.[3] In 1996, he was appointed director of the Centre, which became the Institute for Stem Cell Research under his leadership.[3] He remained as director of the Institute until his move to Cambridge in 2006.[6]

In 2003, Smith was awarded an MRC Research Professorship[3] and elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[7] And in 2006, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[8] In 2010, he was co-recipient of the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine along with French cardiologist Michel Haissaguerre.[2]

In February 2010, together with 13 other leading stem cell researchers, he wrote an open letter to journal editors to voice the opinion that obstructive reviews by a small number of researchers in the field were hindering publication of novel stem cell research.[9] [10]

Austin Smith will be the director of the new Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, which will be established with 8 million pounds ($12.5 million) awarded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council (UK) in 2012.[11]


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  4. ^ "The Stars of Europe – Innovators: Austin Smith, Director, Centre for Genome Research". Businessweek. 17 June 2002. 
  5. ^ "New Safer Way Developed To Reprogram Stem Cells". Science Daily. 3 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Stage set for world-leading stem cell research centre". Wellcome Trust. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "RSE Fellows as at 12/04/2011" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Fellows". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Open letter to Senior Editors of peer-review journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology". Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Ghosh, Pallab (2 February 2010). "Journal stem cell work 'blocked'". BBC News. 
  11. ^ "Cambridge Joins Harvard In Opening Stem-Cell Institute". Bloomberg News. 8 August 2012. 

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