Barry Smith


Barry Smith.

Barry Smith


Barry Smith


SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Julian Park Chair

Areas of Specialization

Ontology; Intelligence Analysis

Contact Information

105 Park Hall

UB North Campus

Buffalo NY, 14260-4150

Phone: (716) 650-0075

Fax: (716) 645-6139


PhD, Philosophy, University of Manchester (1976)
MA, Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford University (1975)
BA, Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford University, 1st Class Joint Honors (1973)


Selected Publications

Professional Summary

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 with some 30,000 citations. 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 Affiliate 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. 

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.

Employment Background

  • Distinguished Professor, Philosophy, University at Buffalo (1994-present)
  • Professor, International Academy for Philosophy, Liechtenstein (1989–1994)
  • Professor, Philosophy, University of Manchester, United Kingdom (1979–1989)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Philosophy, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom (1976–1979)


Research Centers

  • Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences
  • Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC)

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths

  • Information and Computing Technology
  • Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • August 2015–March 2019
    Clinical and Translational Science Award: Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center
    National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • January 2017–July 2018
    Coordinated Holistic Alignment of Manufacturing Processes
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • October 2012–September 2017
    Bioinformatics Integration Support Contract
    Role: Principal Investigator