Andrew Smith

Principal Research Investigator and Senior Lecturer, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh; MRC Scientific Coordinator and Principal Research Investigator, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford


• 2010 – Current. Principal Research Investigator, MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford

• 1996 – Current. Principal Research Investigator and Lecturer, Centre for Regenerative Medicine (<2008 Institute for Stem Cell Research).

Research summary

The stem cell genome engineering group generates genetically manipulated stem cells for use in a wide range of projects at CRM. For example, in order to monitor and investigate the commitment of differentiation of stem cells into more specialised cell types, human embryonic stem cell lines have been generated expressing fluorescent proteins regulated by key genes controlling several important differentiation processes. Another important area of research is to make models of human disease in transgenic animals and human stem cell lines to use as experimental platforms for drug testing, and also to investigate ways for correcting disease mutations in somatic cells.

Current research interests

New technologies are critical to drive forward advances in stem cell and regenerative medicine research. The Stem Cell Genome Engineering Group is focussed on developing innovative genetic engineering technologies to genetically manipulate genes and chromosomes by homologous and site-specific recombination, to underpin studies on fundamental aspects of stem cell biology investigated by many groups at CRM and to generate novel models of human disease. Human disease models in transgenic mice and recapitulation of human diseases using in vitro differentiated genetically modified human ES cells will in combination provide the best experimental approach for investigating cooperating genetic and environmental factors involved in diseases, and eventually facilitate experimental platforms for development of drug therapies. In the future, by making improvements in the efficiency of homologous recombination the aim is to facilitate potential approaches for treating inherited human diseases by gene targeted correction of genetic defects in vivo, or in ex vivo cultured cells that can be used for autologous transplantation.

Project activity




• Prof Clare Blackburn

• Dr Sally Lowell

• Dr Tom Burdon, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

• Prof Tariq Enver, Cancer Institute, University College London

• Prof Sten-Erik Jacobsen, MRC-MHU, WIMM, University of Oxford

• Prof Doug Higgs, MRC-MHU, WIMM, University of Oxford

• Dr Jim Hughes, MRC-MHU, WIMM, University of Oxford

• Prof Claus Nerlov, MRC-MHU, WIMM, University of Oxford

• Prof Peter Andrews, CSCB, University of Sheffield

• Prof Konstantinos Anastassiadis, Dresden Technical University