Layton Smith, Ph.D.

Layton Smith, Ph.D. headshot

Layton Smith, Ph.D.

Director, Drug Discovery Florida
Assistant Professor

Layton Smith's Research Focus

Related Diseases > Cardiovascular Diseases, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome

Dr. Layton Smith has extensive training in both experimental and clinical pharmacology, and during the last six years has worked on numerous collaborative research projects as part of the Prebys Center’s efforts to reimagine the early drug discovery process and find innovative new medicines based upon discoveries made in university research labs across the US.

The Smith lab focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms of increased risk for cardiovascular disease in the metabolic syndrome, by studying apelin, a vasoactive peptide that increases cardiac contractility and decreases vascular tone to reduce blood pressure. Paradoxically, this vasoprotective peptide is over-produced by fat in obese people, but fails to elicit the positive effects on the cardiovascular system. To address this paradoxical effect, Smith employs molecular biology, cellular and animal models, novel pharmacologic tools and is currently developing cell-based assays to identify small molecule probes of the apelin receptor using an HTS strategy.

Layton Smith's Bio

Dr. Layton Smith is the Director of Drug Discovery and Exploratory Pharmacology for the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics (Prebys Center) at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona (SBP). He is also the Principal Investigator for the Florida Translational Research Program at SBP, Florida’s state-funded program for drug discovery.

Prior to joining SBP, Layton was the Associate Director of Pharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute where he led the in vitro ADME/T and in vivo DMPK teams in support of several discovery projects spanning oncology, diabetes, and vascular diseases. After moving to SBP, he established a Pharmacology core facility to complement the small molecule discovery platforms already in existence. In 2009, Layton was promoted to Director of Drug Discovery. Since then, he has been involved in center leadership, strategic planning, and in the coordination of effort between the project teams of the Center and its collaborators to execute projects on schedule and on budget. 

Layton received his doctorate degree (Pharmacology, 2002) from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, where he also received his postdoctoral training in Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Medicine.

Cardiovascular Metabolism Accessory


Chen Y, Zhou K, Wang R, Liu Y, Kwak YD, Ma T, Thompson RC, Zhao Y, Smith L, Gasparini L, Luo Z, Xu H, Liao FF
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Mar 10;106(10):3907-12
Smith LH, Dixon JD, Stringham JR, Eren M, Elokdah H, Crandall DL, Washington K, Vaughan DE
Blood 2006 Jan 1;107(1):132-4
De Taeye B, Smith LH, Vaughan DE
Curr Opin Pharmacol 2005 Apr;5(2):149-54
Kirby RJ, Qi F, Phatak S, Smith LH, Malany S
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2016 Aug 15;305:250-8
Smith LH, Petosa RL
J Pediatr Health Care 2016 Sep-Oct;30(5):495-8