Peter Smith is Professor of Tropical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He graduated in mathematics and statistics from City University, London, and in 1965 joined the Medical Research Council’s Statistical Research Unit in London. Since then he has worked on various aspects of epidemiological and statistical research in the MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics Research Unit, Edinburgh; Makerere University Medical School, Uganda; the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France and Uganda; the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford; Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; and the Tropical Diseases Research Programme of WHO. He joined LSHTM in 1979 to head the Tropical Epidemiology Unit and headed the Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences from 1990 to 1996, and the newly created Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases from 1997 to 2004.
Research interests include large-scale intervention studies against tropical diseases, including vaccine trials. He has also been involved in research on the link between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. From 1996 to 2004 he served on the UK Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, which advised the UK government on BSE and related issues. He chaired the committee from 1999-2004. Until 2011, he chaired the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, and he chairs the WHO Global Malaria Programme/Initiative for Vaccine Research Joint Technical Expert Group (JTEG) on Malaria Vaccines in Pivotal Phase 3 Trials & Beyond. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Vaccine Institute in Korea and has served on the Board of Management of the Medicines for Malaria Venture. He currently chairs the Programme Board for Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC) of the Research Council of Norway. He has served as the Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and is currently a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.