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Prof Andrew Smith
Royal Free Campus
Rowland Hill Street
Prof Andrew Smith profile picture
  • Chair in Oral Health Sciences
  • Eastman Dental Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Professor in Oral Health Sciences

Microbial Diseases, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, UK        

2019 to present

Senior Lecturer in Innate Immunity

Microbial Diseases, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, UK        

2013 to 2019


Senior Postdoctoral Fellow

Molecular Medicine, Division of Medicine, University College London, UK

2005 to 2013


Postdoctoral Fellow

Leukocyte Adhesion Laboratory, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, London, UK     

2001 to 2005


Postdoctoral Researcher

Dermatopharmacology, Southampton University, Hampshire, UK                          

1998 to 2000


Research Summary

Andrew Smith’s research is focused on understanding the innate immune response within healthy and diseased tissue. He has ongoing collaborative projects investigating the role the innate immune system plays in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, orofacial granulomatosis, lichen planus, mucosal inflammation and microbiome.

The group currently has three major overlapping areas of interest-

A.     Macrophage immune response in health and disease

A major area of interest involves understanding how cytokines are induced, sorted, packaged and trafficked in immune cells. Abnormalities in cytokine secretion have been associated with numerous human diseases, but the specific mechanisms responsible are still unclear. The current research involves a mixture of genetic analysis, whole genome transcriptomic profiling, in vivo and in vitro modelling of human disease and mass spectrometry based shotgun proteomics. Numerous collaborations with leading experts in cell biology, proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics have been established to unravel the complex world of cytokine secretion and inflammatory disease.

B.      The role of the epithelium in mucosal inflammation

The interaction between epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract and the commensal microflora is of particular interest to the group. Transcriptomic profiling of colonic mucosal tissue has revealed changes in the epithelial integrity associated with ulcerative colitis. These findings have resulted in a number of current projects looking at the role of the colonic epithelium in regulating inflammation and disease.

 C.      The role of the microbiome in mucosal inflammation

We have recently demonstrated that the oral microbiome is shaped by a persons environment and their genetic background plays only a minor role. These findings have now also been shown to be applicable the lower gastrointestinal tract as well. It is therefore theoretically possible to manipulate a persons microbiome by altering their environment in order to change their health. Our current research is focused on understanding how the microbiome develops as we age and if we can manipulate it in order to improve chronic inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract.   

Research Opportunities

There are currently projects available to investigate aspects of innate immunity, epithelial integrity, oral / gastrointestinal disease and the microbiome. Potential MSc and PhD students and individuals suitable for personal fellowships should contact Andrew directly.

Teaching Summary

I teach on the BSc Applied Medical Sciences and MSc Immunological Basis of Disease programmes, as well as supervise BSc, MSc and PhD research projects.

01-APR-2019 Professor Microbial Diseases UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1998   Doctor of Philosophy University of Southampton
1995   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Leeds
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