2005 Honorary Degree
John A. Smith
John A. Smith has distinguished himself as a researcher, clinician and teacher who has been at the forefront of protein research for more than 25 years.
He is widely known for his seminal studies in protein and peptide chemistry, the elucidation of the molecular basis by which MCH-class molecules bind peptides, and key studies on the biochemistry of amino-terminal protein processing.
Born and raised in St. Charles, Mo., Dr. Smith earned his bachelor of science degree in 1969 from Purdue University; a master of science and a doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 1971 and 1978, respectively; a medical degree in 1974 from the University of Missouri School of Medicine; and a medical management master's degree from Tulane University in 1998.
Dr. Smith has had a notable career as both a biochemist and pathologist at Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 1987 and from 1993 on at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His present posts there include professor of pathology and director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Pathology, clinical professor in the School of Health Related Professions, senior scholar at the Lister Hill Center for Public Policy and senior scientist at the Center for Health Promotion.
Dr. Smith has held numerous academic and clinical appointments interspersed with additional professional and training appointments that span his entire career. A leader in several national scientific organizations, he is particularly interested in science and public policy and in the organization of scientific enterprises.
Dr. Smith's broad interests and dedication to service are apparent in his prolific publications and regular membership on important national panels, societal advisory committees and editorial boards. He also has served the Purdue School of Science as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council and remains an active member of the Strategic Planning Committee and Director's Advisory Council for the Purdue Cancer Center.
Dr. Smith has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Purdue University School of Science.