Chris Smith


Dr. Chris Smith, BSc MB BChir PhD

Curriculum Vitae




Date of Birth: 1975

Nationality: English

Current Post : Clinical Lecturer in Virology, Dept. of Pathology, Cambridge University




1996-01 : MB / Ph.D. Programme, Cambridge University, Cambridge

Medicine Finals 2001 - Distinction
Surgery Finals 2001 - Distinction

Ph.D. - "An Analysis of HSV-1 Mediated Transgene Expression In The Mammalian Nervous System"

1995-6 : Intercalated B.Sc. in Neuroscience, University College London (UCL)

First Class Honours

1994-5 : Preclinical Medicine, The London Hospital Medical College

2nd MB - Distinction

1993-4 : Preclinical Medicine, The London Hospital Medical College

1st MB - Distinction

3 'A' Levels - Chemistry, Physics, Biology (grade A) : King Edward VI Grammar, Chelmsford, Essex

9 GCSE's, 2 AO Levels : Felsted School, Essex







Stripping Down Science to the Bare Essentials - Chris Smith (2005), The Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists 130: April 2005, 22-24

"Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2), Cold Sores and Genital Infections" - Chris Smith (2005), for ABC Online Health Matters Library - archived as a naked science article.

HSV vector-delivery of GDNF in a rat model of PD: partial efficacy obscured by vector toxicity. Monville C, Torres E, Thomas E, Scarpini CG, Muhith J, Lewis J, Finn J, Smith C, Cai S, Efstathiou S, Howard K, Dunnett SB Brain Res. 2004 Oct 22;1024(1-2):1-15

"An Introduction to Influenza (The 'Flu)"- Chris Smith (2004), for ABC Online Health Matters Library - Chris Smith's Influenza Factfile, ABC Online

"Helping Stem Cells to Boldly Grow, Where No Cells have Grown Before - The Cytomatrix: Reloaded" - Chris Smith (2004), for ABC Online

"Ask Bizarre" - A monthly column answering science, medicine and health-related questions for Bizarre Magazine, 2002

A Novel Take on Cloning - Chris Smith (2002), for the BBCi website

The Naked Scientists Online -, Chris Smith (2001) BBSRC Business, October 2001: 16-17

ScienceWorld - From Medicine to Media. Chris Smith (2001) Microbiology Today 2001 28: part 1, pp. 30

Expression From The HSV-1 Latency Associated Promoter in the Murine Central Nervous System. C.Smith, R.H. Lachmann, S. Efstathiou (2000) Journal of General Virology (2000) 81: 649-662

The Sinister Side of Ecstasy. Chris Smith. (1997) Cambridge Medicine 13 (1): 25-27

Will Superman Walk Again? Chris Smith, G. Collins (1997) Student British Medical Journal 1997 (5): 361-363

A Step Forwards in Helping Paralysed People to Move. Chris Smith (1997) Student British Medical Journal 1997 (5): 359




Prizes / Awards

- Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship 2003 - 2004
- Roger Morris Prize in Surgery 2001
- Lewin Prize in Surgery 2001
- Final MB - Distinction in Surgery
- Final MB - Distinction in Medicine
- Trinity College Bursary 2000-2001
- Cambridge University William Harvey Studentship 2000-2001
- Promega Young Researcher Prize 2000
- Finalist for Promega Young Life Scientist of the Year 2000
- Cambridge University Denis Dooley Clinical Anatomy Prize 1998
- Wellcome Trust Prize Ph.D. Studentship 1997-2000
- Cambridge University William Harvey Studentship 1996-1997
- UCL Dean of Life Sciences Certificate of Commendation 1996
- Wellcome Trust Vacation Research Scholarship 1996
- UCL Research Project Certificate of Merit 1996
- UCL Troughton Scholarship 1996-1997
- UCL Departmental Prize for best Neuroscience Finalist 1996
- Drapers Company Scholarship 1995-1996
- Merck Sharp & Dohme Prize for Neuroscience 1995
- LHMC Buxton Prize for Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry 1995
- LHMC Howard Prize for Pharmacology 1995
- Drapers Company Undergraduate Prize 1995
- Preclinical Second MB : Distinction
- Preclinical First MB : Distinction







- 2005 Channel 4 TV "Everybody" pilot with Carol Vorderman, explaining the basis of lifestyle vaccines to aid weight loss and prevent addiction (June 2005).

- 2005 Sky TV News Live TV interview explaining the mechanism of action of Xenova's anti-nicotine vaccine (14th May)

- 2005 Channel 4 TV "The Morning After Show" Live TV demonstration and discussion of why the nose makes snot (8th May).

- 2005 BBC Radio 4 "Questions Questions" Explanation of the neurological basis and role of itching and scratching (5th May)

- 2005 Children's BBC TV Description of how the nose works, and what is a smell ? (27th April)

- 2005 BBC Radio 5 Live “Up All Night” 4 Days Coverage of the AAAS live from Washington DC, US (February 2005)

- 2004 - 2005 “The Naked Scientists” From October 2004, a new series of The Naked Scientists for the BBC in the Eastern Region (to a potential audience of 6 million adults) comprising a live weekly audience-talkback science radio show including interviews with guest scientists. (Archived radio shows from this series)

- 2004 - 2005 Radio Five Live “Up All Night” Live 1 hour audience talkback science questions and answers, taking science questions on any theme live from listeners.

- 2004 - 2005 BBC Radio 5 Live “Up All Night” Weekly 10-15 minute interactive science commentaries, on Mondays, covering topical science issues and breaking science news stories.

- 2004 - 2005 ABC Radio National Breakfast Weekly 5-10 minute live science commentaries, for national broadcast on Monday mornings, addressing topical issues related to science, technology and medicine. (ABC RN Breakfast website)

- 2004 ABC Triple J Live 1 hour audience talkback for national Australian station ‘Triple J’, which targets a young audience demographic. Science questions from the audience, on any subject, answered live.

- 2004 ABC Radio National Science Unit, Australia 6 months as a member of the Radio Science Unit, Sydney, contributing packaged material for national broadcast on The Science Show, The Buzz and The Health Report.

- 2003 BBC Radio 4 "Go4it" Science questions and answers for school children.

- 2003 - 2004 "The Naked Scientists" I wrote, produced and presented a new series of Naked Scientists for the BBC in the Eastern Region, comprising a weekly one hour live science, medicine and technology talk show broadcast to 6 counties in the southeast (Northamptonshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire).

- 2003 "The Naked Scientists" a special series of 5 programmes, conceived, written, produced and presented by me, in support of the Cambridge Science Festival in March. Broadcast live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire between 1630-1700.

- 2001 - 2002 I founded, wrote, produced and presented "The Naked Scientists" - a live weekly science, medicine and technology current affairs programme for Star 107.9FM Cambridge. During this, and a previous series, we have been privileged to interview some extremely prestigious guests including James Watson, Alec Jeffreys, Richard Dawkins, Susan Greenfield, Steve Jones, and even Johnny Ball !

- 2002 I wrote and co-presented "The Science Café" - a live monthly half hour 'science over coffee and a croissant' talk show for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

- 2002 "A Slice of Science" - a week-long mini-series of interviews with guest speakers from the National Science Week "Science at Seven" lecture series. Recorded and broadcast daily on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

- 2002 I provided live on-location coverage of National Science Week 2002, Cambridge, and live interviews with the event organisers, for BBC radio Cambridgeshire.

- 2000 - 2001 "ScienceWorld" - the live weekly precursor to The Naked Scientists, with a similar format, for 107.9 The Eagle, Cambridge.

- 1999 - "The PhD Posse" - a weekly live science chat show, with visuals simultaneously broadcast on cable TV, for "The Red Magazine" on Cambridge Red 107.9FM.






- 2005 - The Wellcome Trust, £180,000
which is funding the current series of The Naked Scientists radio show, broadcast across all 8 BBC radio stations in the eastern region and as a weekly podcast, and the development of the Naked Scientists website.

- 2003 - 2005 COPUS (Royal Society, London), £13,500
which funded the launch of The Naked Scientists on the BBC Eastern Region, and the on-going development of The Naked Scientists Online.

- 2003 - 2004 Cambridge Uni. Community Active Fund, £1,500
which ran in parallel with the COPUS award above.

- 2002 BBSRC & CARET (University of Cambridge) £4,000
which was used to fund the installation of a dedicated web-streaming server at CARET for the provision of streamed audiovisual content from

- 2001- 2002 BBSRC Public Understanding of Science Grant, £10,000
which was used to fund the launch of The Naked Scientists radio show, on the UKRD-owed station Star 107.9 FM, Cambridge, and also The Naked Scientists Online (, its online companion.

- 2000 - 2001 BBSRC Public Understanding of Science Grant, £7,000
to fund the inauguration of "ScienceWorld", the predecessor of The Naked Scientists, on 107.9FM Cambridge Red





Previous Medical Posts

- 2002 - 2003 Medical SHO Rotation Hammersmith Hospital, London Comprised posts in neurology, care of the elderly, haematology, emergency medicine and cardiology.

- 2002 Medical House Officer, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

- 2001 - 2002 Surgical House Officer, Broomfield Hospital, Essex

During the above posts I have become competent in performing lumbar punctures, pleural aspirations, paracenteses, insertion of central venous catheters, management of patients with acute and chronic haematological conditions, including bone marrow transplant recipients, management of renal patients, including dialysis-dependent patients, and investigation, diagnosis and management of acute medical cases presenting to the emergency department.




Talks and Presentations :

May 2004 : BBC Science on Sunday - a two hour series of live science experiments and demonstrations for children and adults delivered in 2 parts for the BBC Charter renewal initiative in the eastern region.

October 2004 : Cambridge University Graduate Symposium, "Communicating Science to the General Public"

February 2004 : National University of Singapore "Science Laid Bare on the Radio".

November 2003 : Cambridge University Department of Pathology, 120th Anniversary, after dinner speech, "Stripping down Science - The Naked Scientists".

October 2002 : Cambridge University Graduate Symposium, 25th October, "Science, Medicine and Technology on the Radio..."

September 2001 and weekly thereafter : The Naked Scientists, a weekly live science, medicine and technology radio talk show.

April 2001 : Young Life Scientist of the Year, Promega Prize Final, University of Bristol, 10th April 2001. "The Use of Viral Vectors for Gene Delivery to the Nervous System".

March 2001 : Society for General Microbiology, Easter Meeting, 2001, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. "HSV-1 as a gene delivery vector - a recombinant virus for the delivery of GDNF to the CNS".

September 2000: Promega Prize Talk, University of Exeter, 13th September 2000. "HSV-1 as a CNS Neuronal Cell Gene Delivery Vector".

April 2000 : Society for General Microbiology, Millennium Meeting, University of Warwick 10-14 April 2000. "Studies of HSV-1 Gene Expression in the Murine Central Nervous System".

July 1999 : 24'th International Herpesvirus Workshop, 17-24'th July 1999, Boston USA - "HSV-1 LAT Promoter Activity in the Murine CNS".

March 1999 : GIF Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, Paris France - "Studies of HSV gene expression in the CNS during acute and latent infection"

March 1999 : National Science Week Cambridge - "Unravelling the mysteries of DNA" A talk and live demonstration of DNA extraction from an onion.

March 1998 : National Science Week Cambridge - "Nerves, Brains and Reflexes" A talk and live demonstration of nerve conduction speeds in Human subjects.

December 1996 : Anatomical Society of Great Britain, winter meeting 1996, St. George's Hospital London - "The anatomy of neuronal connections between the brainstem nucleus 'NRTP' and the cerebellum."

November 1996 : Essex Parkinson's Disease Society, Chelmsford Essex - "The Brain, Movement and Parkinson's Disease"






Other Interests and Activities

· I was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, 2003-2004, to fund a 6 month period in Australia to join the flagship science broadcasting group at ABC Radio National. This yielded extremely valuable experience in constructing powerful science programs to the high standards required of a national broadcast. I also learned how to produce science material tailor made to a multitude of different audiences. The experience was confidence-building and, above all, has made a clear impact on the success of Naked Scientist programs broadcast since.

·During my Winston Churchill Fellowship I travelled widely within Australia including hiking in Tasmania, camping in The Red Centre (including Uluru (Ayer's Rock), Kings Canyon and The Olgas) and The Kakadu National Park (Northern Territories), diving on The Great Barrier Reef at Port Douglas, and walking in the tropical rainforest in far north Queensland. I returned to the UK via New Zealand (North Island), taking in the Glow Worm Caves at Waitomo and the geothermal hot springs at Rotorua, then flew to the Cook Islands, where I dived the spectacular coral reefs on Aitutaki, en-route to Los Angeles and San Diego to visit their world-famous wild life park, before returning to Britain.

· I have developed the Naked Scientists Online website which supports the radio show ( and contains the sound files from each show enabling visitors to listen to previous shows over the internet. I have just unveiled streamed video of our interview guests also, so listeners can become viewers ! The site is currently attracting over 150,000 visitors per year from 90 countries worldwide, with traffic growing by 30% per quarter.

· The naked scientists website was featured in the journal Science recently (Science 2003 April 18; 300: 399), and was also selected by Internet giant YAHOO! as a website of the day last year.

· I have recently been awarded grants by the Royal Society, London, and by Cambridge University, to fund a new series of The Naked Scientists for the BBC, launched in September 2003.

· In 2002 I set up the Cambridge chapter of Café Scientifique (called Naked Science). These live science debates regularly attract over 100 people and received a full-page write-up in the journal Science in June 2003 (Science 27 June 2003; 300: 2026).

· I was the Editor of the journal 'Cambridge Medicine' from 1997-1999. Over this time I significantly improved the look and readability of the journal and it was also published on the internet for the first time in 1998.

· I sing for my local church choir. With them I have sung services at Truro, Coventry, Rochester, York, Derby, Chelmsford, Portsmouth and Southwark Cathedrals, and performed in numerous concerts.

· I build my own PC computers.

· I have taught developmental biology and neuroanatomy, for the past 3 years, to undergraduates in Trinity, Sidney Sussex and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge.

· Motor mechanics and DIY - I service my own car, garden machinery, have built a go-kart and rebuilt a motor-bike.

· I hold a PADI open-water SCUBA diving certificate (since 1998). I hold a PADI open-water SCUBA diving certificate (since 1998) and have dived the Canary Islands, the Australian Great Barrier Reef, and the spectacular coral reefs in the Cook Islands (south Pacific).

· I am a voluntary sailing instructor at Bradwell Sailing Centre, Bradwell-on-sea, Essex (since 1990). I can also navigate and have sailed across the Channel to France.

· I enjoy playing Badminton (doubles and singles) and I am also a very keen skier.

· I completed the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1996.




Referees :



Medical Referee

Professor T.M. Cox,
University of Cambridge,
Dept. of Medicine,
Addenbrookes Hospital,
Hills Road,
Cambridge CB2 2QQ

(01223) 245151

Surgical Referee

Mr. P. Sauven,
Consultant Surgeon,
Broomfield Hospital,

(01245) 440761

Science Referee

Dr. S. Efstathiou,
Division of Virology,
Dept. of Pathology,
University of Cambridge,
Tennis Court Road,
Cambridge CB2 1QP

(01223) 336919



Broadcasting Referee

Margaret Hyde,
Managing Editor,
BBC Essex,
PO Box 765,
Essex CM2 9XB

(01245) 616021






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