About us

Pursuing innovative research, medical discoveries, and drug therapies that benefit patients.
scientists at work

Leading the way

Sanford Burnham Prebys has deep expertise in fundamental biology and one of the most comprehensive drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world that accelerates the translation of our discoveries toward patient benefit.

47+ years

of pioneering research

Our mission

We conduct world-class collaborative research dedicated to finding cures for human disease, improving quality of life, and educating and training the next generation of scientists, thus creating a legacy for its employees, partners, donors and community.

How we aim to improve human health

Sanford Burnham Prebys is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. The Institute takes a unique, collaborative approach to medical research and has established major research programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious, inflammatory and childhood diseases. The Institute is especially known for its world-class capabilities in stem cell research and drug discovery technologies.
Sanford Burnham Prebys is a U.S.-based, non-profit public benefit corporation based in San Diego (La Jolla), California.

Who we are

  • Sanford Burnham Prebys discoveries begin with our people – scientists, postdoctoral candidates, graduate students and support staff – who work collaboratively toward understanding the cause of disease and identifying new therapeutic approaches to improve human health.
  • As an independent, nonprofit institution, we focus on conducting biomedical research in cancer, neuroscience, immunology and rare children’s diseases.
  • The Institute is home to one of the most comprehensive drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world.
  • Our innovative approach to research underpins our strategic partnerships with the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.
  • We cultivate the next generation of biomedical scientists through our graduate and postdoctoral training programs.
Sanford Burnham Prebys employs more than 500 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), CA. We are widely recognized for our NCI-designated Cancer Center, the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics and the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center.
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Our approach to improving human health is built on three principles

Fundamental Research

Our track record of pioneering research spans more than 46 years, and has produced breakthrough discoveries in cancer, neuroscience, immunology and rare children's diseases.

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Drug Discovery

We operate one of the most advanced drug discovery centers in the world that leverages biomedical discoveries to develop prototype drugs. And our deep culture of collaboration has attracted a global network of passionate partners.

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We're committed to educating and training the next generation of scientific leaders to ensure our legacy continues.

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Excitatory neuron-specific suppression of the integrated stress response contributes to autism-related phenotypes in fragile X syndrome.

Hooshmandi M, Sharma V, Thörn Perez C, Sood R, Krimbacher K, Wong C, Lister KC, Ureña Guzmán A, Bartley TD, Rocha C, Maussion G, Nadler E, Roque PM, Gantois I, Popic J, Lévesque M, Kaufman RJ, Avoli M, Sanz E, Nader K, Hagerman RJ, Durcan TM, Costa-Mattioli M, Prager-Khoutorsky M, Lacaille JC, Martinez-Cerdeno V, Gibson JR, Huber KM, Sonenberg N, Gkogkas CG, Khoutorsky A

Neuron 2023 Jul 13 ;

Induction of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Mediated Cancer Cell-Selective Apoptosis in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells by a High-Affinity Benzimidazoisoquinoline.

Elson DJ, Nguyen BD, Bernales S, Chakravarty S, Jang HS, Korjeff NA, Zhang Y, Wilferd SF, Castro DJ, Plaisier CL, Finlay D, Oshima RG, Kolluri SK

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2023 Jul 14 ;6(7):1028-1042

Metabolic clogging of mannose triggers dNTP loss and genomic instability in human cancer cells.

Harada Y, Mizote Y, Suzuki T, Hirayama A, Ikeda S, Nishida M, Hiratsuka T, Ueda A, Imagawa Y, Maeda K, Ohkawa Y, Murai J, Freeze HH, Miyoshi E, Higashiyama S, Udono H, Dohmae N, Tahara H, Taniguchi N

Elife 2023 Jul 18 ;12

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Illuminates Key Protein-Lipid Interactions in the Native Bacterial Cell Envelope.

Kent JE, Ackermann BE, Debelouchina GT, Marassi FM

Biochemistry 2023 Jul 17 ;

Tmem2 Deficiency Leads to Enamel Hypoplasia and Soft Enamel in Mouse.

Nag P, Inubushi T, Sasaki JI, Murotani T, Kusano S, Nakanishi Y, Shiraishi Y, Kurosaka H, Imazato S, Yamaguchi Y, Yamashiro T

J Dent Res 2023 Jul 14 ;:220345231182355

Caspase-9 inhibition confers stronger neuronal and vascular protection compared to VEGF neutralization in a mouse model of retinal vein occlusion.

Avrutsky MI, Chen CW, Lawson JM, Snipas SJ, Salvesen GS, Troy CM

Front Neurosci 2023 ;17:1209527

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