Austin Smith (biologist)

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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 Martin Hooper
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]