Barry Smith is a prominent contributor to both theoretical and applied research in ontology, especially in the biomedical domain. He is the author of some 500 publications on ontology and related topics, and editor of The Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US, Swiss and Austrian National Science Foundations, the US Department of Defense, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the European Union. In 2002 he received the 2 million Euro Wolfgang Paul Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and in 2010 he was awarded the first Paolo Bozzi Prize in Ontology by the University of Turin.
Smith is SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of the National Center for Ontological Research in the University at Buffalo (UB). He is also Adjunct Professor in the UB Departments of Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science and Neurology.
Smith’s pioneering work on the science of ontology led to the formation of the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry, a suite of resources designed to support information-driven research in biology and biomedicine. He is ontology lead for the NIAID ImmPort project, one of the principal scientists of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology, a Scientific Advisor to the Gene Ontology Consortium, and a PI on the Protein Ontology and Infectious Disease Ontology projects. He also provides ontology support to the United Nations Environment Program, the US Army Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) and other defense agencies.
Since 2009 Smith has also served as ontology consultant to Hernando de Soto of the Institute of Liberty and Democracy (ILD) supporting the work of the ILD on creating modern legal frameworks that help the poor of the developing and ex-communist world access property and business rights.