Emma King-Smith

Dr Emma King-Smith


Emma is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics, working at the intersection of chemistry and machine learning.

Emma King-Smith

Emma began her career as an experimental chemist, performing undergraduate research with Professor Dean Toste at the University of California, Berkeley in organometallics methods development. Upon graduation, she joined the process chemistry team at Genentech (South San Francisco) for a year and gained a deep appreciation for total synthesis, prompting her return to academia for a PhD. Emma's graduate studies were completed under the tutelage of Professor Hans Renata at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida. During her tenure there, she gained expertise in enzyme-mediated total synthesis, developing novel routes to a wide range of molecules.

Currently, Emma is continuing her journey as a synthetic chemist, but this time with an emphasis in machine learning and is exploring the computational side of chemistry. Her postdoctoral research is supervised by Dr Alpha Lee and is centred around the investigation of how machine learning can be a tool for practical synthetic chemistry.

Emma's area of research is focused on providing practical solutions to synthetic chemistry challenges via the predictive power of machine learning. Specifically, Emma is interested in reaction outcome prediction: if given some molecules, how do they react? Although this type of prediction may be trivial for some workhorse reactions, prediction of many of the more complex reactions is challenging even for expert chemists. Machine learning, with its astonishing predictive power, is a potential solution to recognizing the subtle patterns that govern the seemly random outcomes of complex reactions.

Emma's research is funded by Pfizer (2021-2022) and a Newton International Fellowship (2022-2024).

What's on

Kill or Cure poster

Art exhibition: 'Kill or Cure'

25/06/2022 at 10.00

Lethal or life-giving? Wolfson's exciting contemporary art exhibition explores the potential of animals, plants, and substances from the natural world to ‘Kill’ and/or ‘Cure’ (open to the public, Saturday and Sundays, 10am - 5pm).

What do you care about? Wolfson Sustainability and Conversation Hub event 26 Aug 2022. Various trees and an hour glass denote nature is running out of time

What do you care about? - S&C Hub

26/08/2022 at 13.00

Wolfson's Sustainability & Conservation (S&C) Hub invites you to join the first gathering of its community for the academic year 2022-2023, discussing “What do you care about?”

Wolfson Gardens

Open Cambridge: Garden Tour

09/09/2022 at 14.00

Take some time out of your day to engage your senses with the sights and sounds of Wolfson's plants and wildlife.


Graduation Ceremony

10/09/2022 at 09.00

Graduation ceremonies are the culmination of students’ hard work and commitment, and a moment to celebrate the completion of their Cambridge degree.

A student photgraphs their friend at graduation

Oxford and Cambridge Mature Student Virtual Open Day

17/09/2022 at 12.00

Oxford and Cambridge will be teaming up to host a virtual event for mature students who are interested in applying to either Oxford or Cambridge.