In 1960-1961, Oliver Smithies works as Assistant Professor of Genetics and Medical Genetics at University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1961-1963, he is Associate Professor. In 1963, he becomes Professor. From 1971 to 1988, he is a Leon J. Cole Professor. From 1980 to 1988, he is Hildale Professor of Genetics and Medical Genetics.

Oliver Smithies is Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapter Hill. His recent works are directed towards the targeted modification of specific genes in living animals. He and his collaborators use successfully targeted modification to alter many genes in the mouse germ-line and to make models in the mouse of human cystic fibrosis, beta thalassemia and essential hypertension. He lives with his wife, pathology professor Nobuyo Maeda.

Smithies is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Mario R. Capecchi of the University of Utah and Martin Evans of Cardiff University "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells". Smithies is the first Full Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to receive a Nobel Prize.

Oliver Smithies works as Research Assistant and Associate at the Connaught Medical Research Laboratory at University of Toronto. There, he developes the technique of gel electrophoresis. In 1957, he wins the Connaught research prize "for published research of exceptional merit". In 1958, he marries Lois Kathryn Kitze, a microbiology researcher of the University of Wisconsin. They will divorce in 1978.

Oliver Smithies is a Brackenbury Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford University. In 1946, he gets a B.A. with First Class Honors in Physiology.

Smithies's tutor at the Balliol College, A. G. "Samdy" Ogston, is fascinated by the relevance of physical chemistry. Orgston's enthusiasm convinces Smithies to drop out medical schoool and to do research in this field. In 1949, he earns a second Bachelor's degree in Chemistry.

Oliver Smithies spends three years trying to introduce short snippets of manipulated deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into mammalian cells in the laboratory. His colleagues doubt that his work is feasible. Smithies is alone in 1985, in a pitch-black darkroom developing x-rays of microscopic images, when he sees that he has successfully inserted an additional gene exactly where and how he wants it. His gene-targeting technique allows individual genes to be altered at the cellular level.

Oliver Smithies is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Physical Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of J. W. (Jack) Williams, a learned physical chemist.

Oliver Smithies joins Ogston in the department of biochemistry as a graduate student. In 1951, he receives a D. Phil. in Biochemistry at Balliol College, Oxford. A section of the thesis was devoted to the development of an extremely precise osmometer.

Oliver Smithies is born prematurely with his fraternal twin Roger in Halifax, England, an industrial town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Around the age of 7, Oliver Smithies gets ill and is bedridden for 10 weeks because of a rheumatic fever. He is not allowed to take part in sports for the next seven years. In the time that he might otherwise have spent in sports he learns to enjoy reading and making things. When he is 11 years old, he decides to be an inventor.