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Yr Athro Paul J Smith

Professor of Cancer Biology, Institute of Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine


I have been active in academic research in the fields of DNA repair, drug development, cytometry and imaging technologies with a focus on cancer research for more than 30 years. My research expertise and patents encompass the cell cycle, drug development, DNA topoisomerases and resistance to anticancer drugs – deploying imaging and flow cytometry technologies. I am considered as an opinion leader in cytometry.


July 2013- :      Science Director, Oncotherics Ltd

July 2013-  :     Emeritus Professor of Cancer Biology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

1995-June 2013:         Professor of Cancer Biology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

1991-1995:      Senior Scientist; MRC Clinical Oncology and Radiotherapeutics Unit, MRC Centre, Cambridge UK.

1982-1987:      Non-Clinical Scientist. MRC Clinical Oncology and Radiotherapeutics Unit, MRC Centre, Cambridge UK. Career appointment from 1.6.87

1980-1982:      Research Associate (with US National Cancer Institute) at AECL

1977-79:          Research Fellow. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Ontario, Canada.

1974-1977:      PhD (Cellular Radiation Biology) Paterson Laboratories, Christie Hospital/Manchester University, UK

1971-1974:      BSc (Hons; Medical Microbiology) Bristol University, UK

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  • 2013: Elected Fellow of The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering - representing the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community, “for his seminal contributions to the development of drug screening technology”.
  • 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry - Teamwork in Innovation Award (winners Smith and Biostatus Ltd) “for the worldwide exploitation of the molecular probe technology”, previous winners include Pfizer Global R & D team.

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International Society for Advancement of Cytometry
President Elect (2008-2010); President (2010-2012); Past President (2012-2014);Conference Chair 2010;Council Member and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for ISAC (1998-2010).
The International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (formerly International Society for Analytical Cytology) is a scientific and educational organization that leads the way in development of cytometry, transfer of new methodologies, and exchange of cutting-edge scientific and technical information in quantitative cell sciences.

Member: Association for Radiation Research

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

July 2013-  :     Emeritus Professor of Cancer Biology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

1995-June 2013:         Professor of Cancer Biology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

1991-1995:      Senior Scientist; MRC Clinical Oncology and Radiotherapeutics Unit, MRC Centre, Cambridge UK.

1982-1987:      Non-Clinical Scientist. MRC Clinical Oncology and Radiotherapeutics Unit, MRC Centre, Cambridge UK. Career appointment from 1.6.87

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Academic:       To date, more than 200 formal seminars/lectures have been presented following invitations to various research institutes, meetings and courses both in the UK and overseas, or as proffered papers at scientific meetings and commercial meetings.

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External committe/panel experience:

Cross-discipline recognition and strategy development experience in UK Research Councils, 2003-2011:

  • Member of Strategic Advisory Team for Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Cross-disciplinary Interfaces Programme (CDIP)
  • Member of Tools and Resources Strategy Panel for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) Expert Panel
  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College.
  • BBSRC Research Equipment panel member and member of the EPSRC Review College.
  • EPSRC Basic Technology Mentor 2006-2010
  • Panel chair for Research Councils UK Basic Technology Programme 2007

Advisory & Consultancy Experience in Clinical & Biomedical Sectors 1994-present:

  • Consultant to Kudos Ltd and Theryte Ltd on anticancer drug development
  • Foundation member of the Wales Cancer Trials Network
  • Past co-chair of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit (WCTU) Translational Working Group
  • Advisor to National Radiological Protection Board and the Health Protection Agency.
  • Advisor to the International Atomic Energy Agency 1994

Non-profit Company Directorship 2008-present:

  • Director of MediWales Ltd – national medical devices national forum and direct contributor to national science policy.




















Cancer biology module ME3034 Lectures on: Cancer Biology of the Cell Cycle; Chemotherapy

My laboratory has been recognised for its state-of-the-art flow cytometric and imaging studies as applied to problems in cancer biology. A focus has been DNA damage responses in human tumour cells and linkage with cell cycle control. Current work is centred on the cell cycle as a target for anticancer agents and the development of technologies to support drug discovery. We have links with drug development groups with a long term aim of progressing agents through to trials. An important aspect of this is the development of mathematical modelling for cellular heterogeneity and drug responses with the University of Warwick.

Our technology development studies have focused on optical biochips incorporating microelectrode structures to allow the electrokinetic actuation of cells in AC electric fields - for example by dielectrophoresis (DEP). We have exploited basic dielectrophoresis (DEP) and fluidic phenomena on our biochip platforms to provide solutions for cell processing and analysis supported by genetic algorithms to resolve DEP data. Such probless DEP profiling of cells provides opportunities for the evaluation and sorting of cells used in tissue engineering applications.

Research impacts

In 2001 I co-founded and became a Director of Biostatus Ltd (www.biostatus.com) to exploit dye technolgy invented at Cardiff University

  • 1999-2006 I invented a novel class of far-red fluorescent dyes – the lead dye DRAQ5™ is now used in over 3,500 research, pharmaceutical and clinical organisations world-wide in a wide range of laboratory assays, transforming practice in clinical, commercial and research sectors.
  • The award-winning start-up company Biostatus Ltd with support under a BBSRC SBRI grant  has undertaken further reserach and product development. The succes of this activity has been to enable export revenue, job creation, futher funding of UK academic research and the creation of new startups: 2009 Oncotherics Ltd (Registered No.06940617) - development of anticancer pro-drug technology for the treatrment of pancreatic cancer; 2008 Biosuspensions Ltd (Registered No.06780280) - development of new drug delivery technology.

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