Stephen Edward Smith

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:222
  1. Caroline Richmond

    Pharmacologist who unravelled genetic response to drugs and the effect of drugs on the eye

    Stephen Smith, emeritus professor of applied pharmacology and therapeutics at St Thomas’s, made his reputation for his work on genetic responses to drugs and for the effects of drugs on the eye. His early research was concerned with individual differences in reactions to drugs, and he was one of the first people to undertake twin-based studies. Later, his work on the eye showed how the effects of drugs on the pupil could aid diagnosis of neuro-ophthalmological diseases.

    He was born Stephen Schmitt, the son of an English-born German Jewish mother and German father. His parents separated shortly after he was born—he later felt they should never have married. His mother changed their name to Smith in the 1930s. Aged 8, he was sent to a progressive Hampstead preparatory school on the recommendation of Vera Brittain, a friend of his mother. Here he developed his musical talents but learnt little else. In 1939 …

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