Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Medical Education



+44 (0)20 7594 2912sue.smith




366Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Professor Sue Smith is Professor in Medical Education and Deputy Head (Teaching) at the National Heart and Lung Institute.

After graduating with a first class BSc Pharmacology, she enjoyed a brief flirtation with toxicology, but soon moved on to become a biochemistry technician at Chelsea College, combining this with part-time study for a PhD at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School where she investigated the effects of tobacco smoke on proteolytic activity at the lung surface.

Having successfully completed her PhD, Professor Smith moved to Charing Cross and became a full time researcher and pharmacology tutor. The merger with Imperial provided an exciting opportunity to get involved in curriculum development and she contributed to a number of areas of the (then) new six year MBB/BSc course, most notably Pharmacology and Therapeutics which she co-lead for the first few years of its existence and which continues essentially unchanged to the present day.

Appointment to the role of Deputy Head (Teaching) for NHLI provided an opportunity to take a substantial leadership role and observing the growth in the number of NHLI staff contributing to undergraduate education provides a continuing source of satisfaction. 

In 2007 she was the recipient of a Rector’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Smith holds two senior Faculty of Medicine appointments as Head of Examinations and Assessments and, since 2010, Deputy Director of Education. As well as providing direction and support to key elements of educational activity within the Faculty, these leadership roles also provide excellent opportunities to undertake educational research.

She has a particular interest in widening participation and exploring the factors which contribute to the choices made by young people just starting out on their careers, not only in the UK, but also overseas. In addition, she is actively researching the ways in which undergraduate students and postgraduate trainees learn and how we can help them more effectively.



Preston-Shoot M, McKimm J, Kong WM, et al., 2011, Readiness for legally literate medical practice? Student perceptions of their undergraduate medico-legal education, Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol:37, ISSN:0306-6800, Pages:616-622

Roberts NJ, Smith SF, Partridge MR, 2011, Why is spirometry underused in the diagnosis of the breathless patient: a qualitative study, Bmc Pulmonary Medicine, Vol:11, ISSN:1471-2466

, 2010, What Factors Influence Postgraduate Medical Trainee Attitudes To Computer-Based Learning?, The Internet Journal of Medical Education, Vol:1


Maheswaran IA, Clements JRE, Khan MEA, 2011, How do postgraduate trainees in different subspecialties view portfolios as educational tool?, Association for Medical Education in Europe

Smith SF, Partridge MR, Roberts NR, 2010, The engagement of postgraduate medical trainees with e-learning, Association for Medical Education in Europe

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