Professor Stephen Smith


Professor Stephen Smith DSc, FMedSci, became Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London in August 2004, and in October 2007 was appointed to the joint position of Principal of the Faculty of Medicine and Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the largest NHS Trust in the UK.

A gynaecologist by training, Professor Smith has published over 220 papers on reproductive medicine and cancer. It was for his work on the complex gene pathways that regulate the growth of blood vessels in reproductive tissue that he was awarded his DSc in 2001. In addition to his academic and clinical work he has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Biology, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Arts.

Professor Smith led on the creation of the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC), which was formed from the merger of Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and St Mary's NHS Trust and its integration with Imperial College London. He has also been at the forefront of the development of the UK's first Global Medical Excellence Cluster for London and South East England. He is the current Chair of London Genetics, holds several company directorships, and is a founder member of Metris Therapeutics Ltd and Gene Networks Inc.

He provides advice to and serves on numerous committees for a number of organisations including the Medical Research Council, World Health Organisation, the National Institutes of Health (USA), the NHS, the British Heart Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. He also sits on the Health Innovation Council and is a Fellow of The Nuffield Trust.

Before joining Imperial, Professor Smith was Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Cambridge and he has held academic appointments at the University of Edinburgh and NHS clinical appointments at Hammersmith Hospital, Addenbrooke's in Cambridge, the Northern General and Jessop Hospital in Sheffield, and the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.

The NHS Innovator of the Year - Nominee

Professor Stephen Smith

Imperial College AHSC

Citation (peer-written)

Professor Stephen Smith is Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College, a unique combination of posts in the UK. He has been a tireless advocate of the power of integration of research, education and clinical services to transform patient outcomes, and was the driving force behind the creation of Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre, a new kind of organisation for the UK designed to foster cutting-edge, innovative programmes that deliver clear benefits for patients. In its first 18 months, the AHSC has delivered:

  • A world-first in minimally invasive endovascular surgery through the use of the Hansen Sensei robot to treat complex abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • The roll-out of the World Health Organisation’s surgical safety checklist, shown to reduce complications and inpatient deaths in a study in which Imperial College Healthcare was the only European pilot site
  • A ground breaking gene therapy trial which has the potential to give Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy sufferers the chance to preserve muscle function
  • A new blood test for the diagnosis of Tuberculosis that gives results in 48 hours rather than weeks
  • The largest community-based preventative cardiology programme in the country with its partner NHS Westminster
  • The lowest standardised mortality rates in the country of any multispecialty NHS Trust

Professor Smith has been instrumental in creating a culture of innovation in the NHS and his passionate leadership of the AHSC agenda has catalysed systemic change within Imperial and beyond.