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 the Founding Director of the Medical Education Research Unit 

She started her academic career  with a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Liverpool, followed by a PhD in Biochemistry studying the impact of lung and airway disease on the protease/antiprotease balance at the lung surface at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School.  

During an MRC fellowship, she had the opportunity to start teaching pharmacology at Charing Cross and the merger with Imperial provided an exciting opportunity to contribute to a number of areas of the (then) new six year MBBS/BSc curriculum, most notably Pharmacology and Therapeutics which she co-lead for the first few years of its existence. Appointment to the role of Deputy Head (Teaching) for NHLI provided an opportunity to take a substantial role in educational leadership which allowed her to shape the taught educational portfolio of the Institute and build a highly successful educational faculty.   

She has held a number of other senior leadership positions in education including Head of Examinations and Assessments, Director of Education and, from 2010-2014, Deputy Director of Education for the Faculty of Medicine. 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, which was recognized by the College in the conferment of her Chair in Medical Education in 2012.  

In 2014, she was invited to set up the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) and since then, has steadily built up medical education research activity across the Faculty. . In 2018 she led a successful application for recognition of the Faculty's excellence in student engagement in the form of an ASPIRE award from the Association for Medical Education in Europe.  

Her personal research interests include identifying ways of widening participation in medicine at all stages from pre-application to medical school onwards. Part of her interests in identifying and removing barriers to careers in medicine, is manifest through her exploration of methods for selection at all stages of the clinical career journey



Vassie C, Mulki O, Chu A, et al., 2020, A practical guide to fostering teaching excellence in clinical education: experience from theUK, The Clinical Teacher, ISSN:1743-4971

Vassie C, Smith S, Leedham-Green K, 2020, Factors impacting on retention, success and equitable participation in clinical academic careers: A scoping review and meta-thematic synthesis, Bmj Open, Vol:10, ISSN:2044-6055

Chu A, Morton C, Pye C, et al., 2019, Clinical teaching fellowships - enhancing the out of programme experience through a peer network, Clinical Medicine, Vol:19, ISSN:1470-2118, Pages:259-259

Morton CE, Smith SF, Lwin T, et al., 2019, What are the benefits of teaching medical students computer coding?, Jmir Medical Education, Vol:5, ISSN:2369-3762

Morton C, Smith S, Lwin T, et al., 2018, What are the benefits of teaching medical students computer coding?, Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN:1438-8871

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