Imperial College London

ProfessorSue FSmith

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Medical Education



+44 (0)20 7594 2912sue.smith




110Sir 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.



Smith SF, Vassie C, Shifting discourses of widening access from 'why not you?' to 'we want you', Medical Education, ISSN:0308-0110

Hunukumbure AD, Smith SF, Das S, 2017, Holistic feedback approach with video and peer discussion under teacher supervision, Bmc Medical Education, Vol:17, ISSN:1472-6920

Patrick Y, Lee A, Raha O, et al., 2017, Effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive and physical performance in university students, Sleep and Biological Rhythms, Vol:15, ISSN:1446-9235, Pages:217-225

Vassie C, Smith SF, 2017, Empowering junior doctors to maximise medical student learning in the clinical setting, Medical Education, Vol:51, ISSN:0308-0110, Pages:1088-1088

Morton CE, Saleh SN, Smith SF, et al., 2016, Blended learning: how can we optimise undergraduate student engagement?, Bmc Medical Education, Vol:16, ISSN:1472-6920

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