Professor J. Richard Smith MD, FRCOG is a consultant gynaecological surgeon at the West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust. He was Adjunct Associate Professor at the New York University School of Medicine from 2001 to 2021 and is currently Professor of Practice at Imperial College.
Professor Smith graduated from the University of Glasgow and worked in various Scottish hospitals until 1988. He then moved to St Mary’s Hospital in London to further his training and took up a consultant post at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in 1993. He also became an honorary consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
He moved to Hammersmith/Queen Charlotte’s Hospital almost 20 years ago where his sub-specialisation of gynaecology is oncology. Within this he specialises in gestational trophoblastic disease, ovarian germ cell tumours, cervical cancer and vulval disease.
He co invented the procedure of radical abdominal trachelectomy to remove cervical cancers while allowing future pregnancies and also the modified Strassman procedure, fertility sparing surgery for woman with rare uterine tumours. In addition , he invented the Smith’s safety needle holder. He is a registered colposcopist and has a long-running interest in the management of pelvic pain and the psychology both of his patients and of the operating theatre.
His main surgical interest remains fertility-sparing surgery and his research interest is focused on the development of uterine transplantation, using donated organs from both live and deceased donors.
Professor Smith began his research into the potential of Uterine Transplantation to help those woman of child bearing age who do not have a viable womb, in the late 1990s.
Some years later he founded the charity Womb Transplant UK which helps to fund research including two programmes of transplant operations. He is the Chairman of the charity and leader if the Charity’s research team. He is an Honorary Consultant in Transplantation Surgery at the University of Oxford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He is also involved with research related to endometrial transplantation, endometrial stem cell research and novel treatments for vulval cancers.
Professor Smith has a long-running interest in doctor-patient communication and has published Women’s Cancers; Pathways to Healing 2009, Women’s Cancers; Pathways to Living 2015. He is the series editor of Patient Pictures (17 books) (210,000 copies).
He is a prolific author of books for the medical profession and is First Editor of an Atlas of Gynaecological Oncology (4 editions) and first author of eight other post-graduate medical textbooks. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications as well as numerous reviews and articles.