George Smith
Smith during Nobel press conference in Stockholm, December 2018
George Pearson Smith[1]

(1941-03-10) 10 March 1941 (age 83)
Known forPhage display
SpouseMarjorie Sable[2]
Awards2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Scientific career
ThesisThe variation and adaptive expression of antibodies. (1970)
Doctoral advisorEdgar Haber

George Pearson Smith (born 10 March 1941)[3][4] is an American biologist and Nobel laureate.[5] He is a Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, US.


Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, he earned his A.B. degree from Haverford College in biology, was a high school teacher and lab technician for a year, and earned his PhD degree in bacteriology and immunology from Harvard University.[6] He was a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin (with future Nobel laureate Oliver Smithies) before moving to Columbia, Missouri and joining the University of Missouri faculty in 1975. He spent the 1983–1984 academic year at Duke University with Robert Webster where he began the work that led to him being awarded a Nobel Prize.[7][8][9][2][10]

He is best known for phage display, a technique where a specific protein sequence is artificially inserted into the coat protein gene of a bacteriophage, causing the protein to be expressed on the outside of the bacteriophage. Smith first described the technique in 1985 when he displayed peptides on filamentous phage by fusing the peptide of interest onto gene III of filamentous phage.[8] He was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this work, sharing his prize with Greg Winter and Frances Arnold.

Human rights advocacy

Smith is an advocate for equal rights for Palestinians and Israeli Jews in their common homeland, and a strong supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[11] On the topic of religion, Smith is quoted as saying "I'm not religious or Jewish by birth. But my wife is Jewish and our sons are bar-mitzvahed, and I'm very engaged with Jewish culture and politics."[12]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ "Novelty Reigns at Bridal in Maryland". The New York Times. 11 June 1970. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Williams, Mará Rose. "'My first standing ovation': Humble MU professor cheered after winning Nobel Prize". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. ^ "George P. Smith – Facts – 2018". Nobel Media AB. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Emily; Greenfieldboyce, Nell (3 October 2018). "Nobel Prize in Chemistry Honors Work That Demonstrates 'The Power of Evolution'". NPR.
  5. ^ "Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 – live". The Guardian. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  6. ^ Smith, George Pearson (1971). The variation and adaptive expression of antibodies (PhD). Harvard University. OCLC 76998014. PMC 1445740 – via ProQuest.
  7. ^ "Tropical and Molecular Parasitology Seminar Series". Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b Smith GP (June 1985). "Filamentous fusion phage: novel expression vectors that display cloned antigens on the virion surface". Science. 228 (4705): 1315–7. Bibcode:1985Sci...228.1315S. doi:10.1126/science.4001944. PMID 4001944.
  9. ^ "2018 Nobel Prize winner did much of his work at Duke University". 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  10. ^ Phage Display of Peptides and Proteins: A Laboratory Manual. Academic Press, Inc. 1996. ISBN 978-0-12-402380-2.
  11. ^ Kaplan Sommer, Allison (3 October 2018). "Nobel Prize Winner George P. Smith Is a Longtime pro-Palestine, BDS Activist". Haaretz. Tel Aviv. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, George. "George Smith". Mondoweiss. United States. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  13. ^ a b "George Smith". University of Missouri Biological Sciences. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ Korte, Andrea (3 October 2018). "AAAS Fellows Share Nobel Prize in Chemistry". American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 10 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Promega Biotechnology Research Award Past Laureates". American Society For Microbiology. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  16. ^ Chang, Kenneth (3 October 2018). "Use of Evolution to Design Molecules Nets Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 3 Scientists". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  17. ^ "George P. Smith". National Academy of Sciences Member Directory. Archived from the original on 4 December 2023.
  18. ^ "Inaugural Mizzou Medal of Distinction awarded to George P. Smith in recognition of outstanding service // Show Me Mizzou // University of Missouri". 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.