International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Getting to Know IPC’s Board Member Catherine Smith: What Inspired Me to Specialize in Psoriasis

Catherine Smith, MD

St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals

London, United Kingdom

IPC Board Member


  • Dr. Catherine Smith is Professor of Dermatology and Therapeutics and Consultant Dermatologist at St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, Kings College London, and Guys and St. Thomas’ Hospital.
  • She directs the Skin Therapy Research Unit at St John’s, leading large programme grants to better understand when and how to intervene to improve outcomes for people with psoriasis. She always aims to bring research findings into clinical practice.
  • She strongly advocates for public and patient involvement, partnering with patient organizations, including the United Kingdom’s Psoriasis Association, to ensure research addresses unmet needs that matter to patients.
  • Dr. Smith is a listed expert for the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
  • Catherine Smith was appointed to the IPC Board of Directors in 2022 and became an IPC Councilor in 2010. She is a member of the IPC Strategic Planning Committee.

Dr. Catherine Smith’s story embodies personal inspiration, mentorship, and dedication to advancing patient care in dermatology, with a focus on psoriasis. As a Consultant Dermatologist at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology in London and an IPC Board Member, Dr. Smith’s career has been influenced by pivotal experiences and mentors. Her medical studies were shaped by the mentorship of Dr. Charles (RS) Wells, who encouraged questioning established norms and striving for academic excellence, setting her on the path to specialize in psoriasis.

Her commitment to psoriasis research and patient care was further deepened through collaboration with IPC Past President, Professor Jonathan Barker, a significant figure in her professional life. This partnership was transformative, firmly rooting psoriasis as the centerpiece of Dr. Smith’s professional endeavors.

Throughout her career at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, Dr. Smith has led efforts to unravel the complexities of psoriasis, develop innovative treatments, and enhance patient care. Collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians both in the United Kingdom and internationally, she has contributed to major advancements in the field, particularly in precision medicine.  Yet, it is the personal narratives of patients with psoriasis that continue to drive her.

"It is the personal stories of patients living with psoriasis that remain my principal motivation. These narratives underscore the real-world impact of our work and the ongoing need for innovative research and patient-centered care."

— Catherine Smith, MD

In her role with the IPC, Dr. Smith advocates for research excellence in psoriasis, fostering emergent clinical academic talent,  and working to enhance the value of available data through collaboration. She also addresses disparities in global access to dermatological knowledge and treatments, focusing on facilitating access to reliable guidelines. This effort is crucial in supporting health care practitioners worldwide in delivering superior care. Her advocacy, educational efforts, and commitment to empowering patients highlight the importance of bridging the knowledge-to-action gap in psoriasis care.

Dr. Smith’s journey from a curious medical student to a leading figure in the psoriasis community exemplifies the power of mentorship, passion for one’s specialty, and an unyielding pursuit of knowledge. Her story is not just an inspiration for health care practitioners within the field of psoriasis but a guiding light for those committed to enhancing patient care and advancing dermatology worldwide.

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