Naysmith has a BSc in Zoology and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Edinburgh. He subsequently did research at Yale University, at Beecham Research Laboratory, and at the University of Bristol, where he was also a fellow, and a lecturer in the Pathology Department.
Doug Naysmith signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.
In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Doug Naysmith voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
Libel Law Reform
In December 2009, Doug Naysmith signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.
The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".
Doug Naysmith was on the committee of the 2010 Science and Technology Committee "Evidence Check" report on Homeopathy. The final report was extremely critical of the use of homeopathy within the NHS, and the formal minutes show that Naysmith voted in favour of the report being published in this form.