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George Davey Smith

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Bristol

George Davey Smith is a clinical epidemiologist whose research has pioneered (1) understanding of the causes and alleviation of health inequalities; (2) lifecourse epidemiology (3) systematic reviewing of evidence of effectiveness of health care and health policy interventions (4) population health contributions of the new genetics. He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles, 15 books/edited collections and numerous editorials, commentaries and reviews. Major contributions include: a) the demonstration of the influence of childhood socio-economic deprivation on cause-specific morbidity and mortality patterns in adult life; b) methodological developments in meta-analysis; c) elucidation of factors underlying socio-economic differences in morbidity and mortality in the UK, US, Norway and India d) the development and application of Mendelian randomisation approaches, interrogating the causal role of behavioural factors (such as alcohol consumption) and intermediate phenotypes (such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein) on different health outcomes; e) application of causal analysis approaches to epigenetic data. He is an ISI highly cited scholar and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Medicine Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is co-editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology (during his tenure the impact factor has increased from less than 2 to over 9), has sat on the MRC Public Health and Health Services Research, Physiological Medicine and Infection Boards and the MRC Military Health Research Advisory Group and Global Health Group. He is on the Wellcome Trust Science Funding Interview Panel. He has established or has been central to the running of a large number of epidemiological cohort studies involving detailed clinical and biomarker assessments. He is currently Scientific Director of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children; and became Director of the MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology in 2007 and of the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit in 2013. He is Director of the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD programme in Lifecourse and Genetic Epidemiology at the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol.


  • –present
    Professor of Clinical Epidemiology , University of Bristol