Michael Smith

Organic Chemistry

Won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993 for discovering site-directed mutagenesis: that is, how to make a genetic mutation precisely at any spot in a dna molecule.

"In research you really have to love and be committed to your work because things have more of a chance of going wrong than right. But when things go right, there is nothing more exciting."

Blackpool, England

Place of Death
Vancouver, British Columbia

Family Members
  • Father: Rowland Smith
  • Mother: Mary Agnes Armstead
  • Children: Tom, Ian, Wendy

Shy, caring, busy, focused, generous, and a procrastinator

Favorite Music
Sibelius?s 2nd Symphony (slow movement)

Other Interests
Philanthropy, scouts, camping, hiking, sailing, skiing, reading the New Yorker and the Manchester Guardian

University Killam Professor, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology

Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia


  • BSc (Honours Chemistry), University of Manchester, England, 1953
  • PhD (Chemistry), University of Manchester, England 1956

  • Jacob Biely Faculty Research Prize, UBC, 1977
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1981
  • Boehringer Mannheim Prize of the Canadian Biochemical Society, 1981
  • Gold Medal, Science Council of BC, 1984
  • Fellow, Royal Society (London), 1986
  • Gairdner Foundation International Award, 1986
  • Killam Research Prize, UBC, 1986
  • Award of Excellence, Genetics Society of Canada, 1988
  • G. Malcolm Brown Award, Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, 1989
  • Flavelle Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 1992
  • Manning Award, 1995
  • Laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame


Har Gobind Khorana, Nobel Prize-winning chemist who taught him the organic chemistry of biological molecules which make up DNA

Last Updated
July 13, 2011


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