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 47 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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Cancer relevance of circulating antibodies against LINE-1 antigens in humans.

Vylegzhanina A, Bespalov I, Novototskaya-Vlasova K, Hall BM, Gleiberman A, Yu H, Leontieva O, Leonova KI, Kurnasov O, Osterman AL, Dy GK, Komissarov AA, Vasilieva E, Gehlhausen JR, Iwasaki A, Ambrosone CB, Tsuji T, Matsuzaki J, Odunsi K, Andrianova E, Gudkov AV

Cancer Res Commun 2023 Oct 23 ;

Expanding PROTACtable genome universe of E3 ligases.

Liu Y, Yang J, Wang T, Luo M, Chen Y, Chen C, Ronai Z, Zhou Y, Ruppin E, Han L

Nat Commun 2023 Oct 16 ;14(1):6509

Differential specificity of SARS-CoV-2 main protease variants on peptide versus protein-based substrates.

Rocho FR, Snipas SJ, Shamim A, Rut W, Drag M, Montanari CA, Salvesen GS

FEBS J 2023 Oct 16 ;

Autotaxin-lysophosphatidic acid receptor 5 axis evokes endothelial dysfunction via reactive oxygen species signaling.

Janovicz A, Majer A, Kosztelnik M, Geiszt M, Chun J, Ishii S, Tigyi GJ, Benyó Z, Ruisanchez É

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2023 Oct 14 ;:15353702231199081

RNF185 control of COL3A1 expression limits prostate cancer migration and metastatic potential.

Van Espen B, Oo HZ, Collins C, Fazil L, Molinolo A, Yip K, Murad R, Gleave M, Ronai ZA

Mol Cancer Res 2023 Oct 13 ;

CNS distribution of panobinostat in preclinical models to guide dosing for pediatric brain tumors.

Zhang W, Oh JH, Zhang W, Rathi S, Larson JD, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Sirianni RW, Elmquist WF

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2023 Oct 12 ;

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