Professor Catherine Smith
St John’s Institute of Dermatology is the leading UK clinical and research institution for skin disease (RAND 2014). We are a team of over 60 multi-disciplinary, clinical and translational researchers, closely integrated with national specialised services across 17 domains linked into national networks. Our emphasis is on three key areas where we have the critical mass of clinical and scientific interdisciplinary excellence - rare disease, cancer and immune-mediated diseases with the aim of better understanding disease biology as the path to novel interventions alongside biomarker-enabled precision medicine. Programmes include cell & gene based therapy for genetic skin disease, novel immunotherapies for melanoma, and risk stratification, target validation and monitoring across inflammatory skin diseases. Our research is internationally competitive and supported from multiple sources including NIHR and MRC programme grants.
ACF/ACLs are encouraged to explore their area of interest with relevant PIs and research time is usually allocated in blocks to maximise research opportunities. More than >90% of our NIHR ACFs have achieved external funding for PhD studentships; academic progression includes NIHR CLs (4) and academic independence. Trainees join the South East London rotation training programme which includes St John’s Institute of Dermatology (GSTT), the largest dermatology treatment centre in the UK with exceptional, comprehensive training in all aspects of dermatology. We work very closely with our Training Programme Director to ensure smooth co-ordination between clinical and academic components of the scheme.