Layton H. Smith, PhD

Director of Drug Discovery and Pharmacology
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Layton H. Smith, PhD, is Director of Drug Discovery and Pharmacology at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Orlando, Florida. In this role he provides overall operational and scientific leadership to the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at the Institute, a 30-person drug discovery enterprise equipped with state-of-the-art ultra-high throughput screening and lead discovery capabilities. He directs the efforts of cross functional, multidisciplinary teams to advance a pipeline of therapeutic molecules from concept to pre-clinical in vivo efficacy studies with the goal of discovering first-in-class breakthrough drugs to meet today’s most urgent unmet medical needs.

Layton is also the Principal Investigator of the Florida Translational Research Program. This innovative, collaborative drug discovery initiative affords researchers at Florida-based universities access to the talent and technology platforms of the drug discovery group at Sanford Burnham Prebys. The program has executed over 30 collaborative drug discovery projects with 15 different institutions and generated several patents. Discoveries resulting from this effort are currently being partnered with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Layton earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. In 2005, he returned to his home state of Florida to join The Scripps Research Institute where he played a key role in the establishment of the institute’s Florida operations. In 2007, he was recruited to Sanford Burnham Prebys. Layton is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and an inventor on three patents.