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The American Society for Microbiology honors Geoffrey L. Smith
Date:6/7/2012

Washington, DCJune 6, 2012 Geoffrey L. Smith, Ph.D., Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Head, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has been bestowed the 2012 GlaxoSmithKline International Member of the Year Award, recognizing exemplary leadership in the international microbiological community. His nominator, Molly Hughes of the University of Virginia, says Smith is "internationally recognized as an outstanding scientist due to his numerous original contributions to the field of virology and the role he plays as a leader in a number of scientific institutions."

Smith received his B.Sc. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Leeds, and his Ph.D. from the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, while working with influenza virus in the laboratory of Alan Hay. He then held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship at the National Institute for Medical Research, before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the laboratory of Bernard Moss. There, together with Michael Mackett, he developed vaccinia virus as an expression vector and established the use of genetically engineered viruses as live vaccines, a principle applied subsequently to other viruses and microorganisms.

After returning to the United Kingdom, Smith continued working with poxviruses at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the Imperial College London. He is now Head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge, where he studies the interactions of poxviruses (particularly vaccinia virus) with the host cell and immune system. His research group has contributed to the current understanding of how these poxviruses replicate and spread and how they interfere with innate immunity, findings that provide an "important contribution to not only the field of poxviruses, but have also had widespread implications, particularly in the
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Contact: Garth Hogan
ghogan@asmusa.org
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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