Professor Maree Smith

Emeritus Professor

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine


Emeritus Professor Maree Smith is Director, CIPDD, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland.

In the 12 years prior to her current appointment, Professor Smith built the CIPDD and its commercial interface TetraQ, recognized as a unique, GLP-accredited drug development Centre in Australia. Professor Smith has considerable expertise in biomedical discovery/translation with specialist expertise in the pain field encompassing a portfolio of 15 rodent pain models that mimic individual human pain conditions. This portfolio of models conducted in a GLP-accredited facility is unique in Australia and rare internationally.

In the 15 years prior to establishing the CIPDD, Professor Maree Smith was a full-time academic in the School of Pharmacy. In brief, she joined the School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer in 1989 and was successively promoted through the academic ranks to Professor in 2004. Prior to that she undertook a PhD and early postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacology with specialist expertise in bioanalytical method development, bioanalysis of human plasma samples, drug metabolism and clinical pharmacokinetics. Her second postdoc was in the field of pain management and pain pharmacology.

In the years, 1990-2005, Maree Smith taught in the Drug Discovery stream of the 2nd, 3rd & 4th years of the undergraduate pharmacy program and she was instrumental in developing innovative courses for the final year of the undergraduate Pharmacy curriculum. More recently, she was instrumental in the development of a course for the M Biotech program at UQ entitled “Quality Systems in Biotechnology”. It was delivered successfully for the 6th time in 2015. Maree has successfully advised/co-advised to completion 28 PhD students, 2 Research Masters students and ~40 Honours students. She also served for 14 years as an external evaluator for the TGA.

Maree's Current Research Interests are as follows:

1. Subtle differences in the pathobiology of individual chronic pain conditions

2. Improving preclinical to clinical translation in novel analgesics development

3. Harnessing clinical pharmacology to improve patient outcomes


2016 Bowl of Hygeia Award (Pharmaceutical Society of Australia)

2016 Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award (ATSE)

2015 Honoured to be included in inaugural list of Australia's top Innovators; viz Knowledge Nation 100

2015 Inaugural Inductee into the Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ) Hall of Fame

2015 Johnson and Johnson Innovaton AusBiotech Industry Excellen Award - Outstanding Leader category.

2015 Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS)

2015 Australian Pain Society Distinguished Member Award - For services to the promotion, treatment and science of pain management and lifelong contribution to the Australian Pain Society

2013 UQ Top 5 Inventor - Award by Thomson Reuters and UQ at inaugural Awards

2013 UQ Top 5 Innovator - Award by UniQuest Pty Ltd and UQ at inaugural Awards

2012 Queensland Life Sciences Industry Excellence Award jointly with Dr Jim Aylward

2011 Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences (ATSE)

2009 Honorary Fellowship, Faculty of Pain Medicine, ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists).

2008 WiT (Women in Technology): Biotech Outstanding Achievement Award

2002 Meritorious Mention for Sustained Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision

2001 Meritorious Mention for Sustained Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision

Research Impacts

Maree is a leading researcher internationally in the pain field. Three of her patented novel analgesics technologies have been licensed to three UQ spin-out companies for commercialisation. One of these, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals formed in 2005 to commercialize her angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonists technology for neuropathic pain and subsequently chronic inflammatory pain was acquired by Novartis for US$200 million plus considerable milestone payments reported in the financial press as the largest biotech deal to date in Australia. This was on the basis of successful early phase clinical trials of the clinical candidate, EMA401, including in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia, a type of peripheral neuropathic pain that is often intractable. EMA401 is currently in clinical trials by Novartis.

Also, she has highly specialized expertise in the pain field encompassing a portfolio of 15 innovative rodent pain models that more closely mimic individual human pain conditions, and that are unique in Australia and rare internationally. These models combined with the CIPDD's OECD GLP accreditation means that these capabilities are unique in Australia and rare outside of large pharmaceutical companies internationally.


  • Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours, The University of Queensland
  • PhD, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Book Chapter

  • Smith, Maree T. and Muralidharan, Arjun (2014). Pain pharmacology and the pharmacological management of pain. In Hubert van Griensven, Jenny Strong and Anita M. Unruh (Ed.), Pain: a textbook for health professionals 2nd ed. (pp. 159-180) London, United Kingdom: Elsevier.

  • Watson, C. Peter N., Gilron, Ian, Pollock, Bruce G., Lipman, Arthur G. and Smith, Maree T. (2013). Antidepressant analgesics. In Stephen B. McMahon, Martin Koltzenberg, Irene Tracey and Dennis C. Turk (Ed.), Wall and Melzack's textbook of pain 6th ed. (pp. 465-496) Philadelphia, United States: Elsevier Saunders.

  • Smith, Maree T. and Muralidharan, Arjun (2013). Pharmacogenetics of pain. In eLS: Citable Reviews in the Life Sciences (pp. 1-12) Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/047001590X

  • Smith, Maree T. and Goh, Wei H. (2011). Opioid analgesics. In Gabor B. Racz and Carl E. Noe (Ed.), Pain management: Current issues and opinions (pp. 287-306) Rijeka, Croatia: Intech Open Access.

  • Smith, Maree T. and South, Samantha M. (2008). Pain pharmacology and analgesia. In H. Majewski (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (pp. 1-80) Oxford, U.K.: EOLSS Publishers.

  • Smith, M. T. (2003). Neurobiology of Pain: Identification of novel targets for new pain management medications. In G. Keri and I. Toth (Ed.), Molecular Pathomechanisms and New Trends in Drug Research 1 ed. (pp. 302-318) London & New York: Taylor & Francis.

  • Mather, L. E. and Smith, M. T. (1999). Clinical pharmacology and adverse effects. In Christoph Stein (Ed.), Opioids in pain control: Basic and clinical aspects (pp. 188-211) New Jersey, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.