Dr Ewan Birney

Joint Associate Director and Senior Scientist at European Bioinformatics Institute Cambridge

Joint Associate Director and Senior Scientist, European Bioinformatics Institute Cambridge

Dr Ewan Birney is the Joint Associate Director and Senior Scientist at the European Bioinformatics Institute Cambridge. He is one of the founders of the Ensembl genome browser. Together with Dr Rolf Apweiler, he has strategic responsibility and oversight for bioinformatics services at EMBL-EBI.

Dr Birney played a vital role in annotating the genome sequences of the human, mouse, chicken and several other organisms; this work has had a profound impact on our understanding of genomic biology. He led the analysis group for the ENCODE project, which is defining functional elements in the human genome.

His main areas of research include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information (in particular information associated with individual differences) and compression of sequence information. He completed his PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with Richard Durbin, and worked in the laboratories of leading scientists Adrian Krainer, Toby Gibson and Iain Campbell. Ewan has received a number of prestigious awards including the 2003 Francis Crick Award from the Royal Society, the 2005 Overton Prize from the International Society for Computational Biology and the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Award for contributions in Open Source Bioinformatics.

  • 16 June 2011

    Policy workshop on whole genome sequencing

    The PHG Foundation and the Centre for Science and Policy is hosting a workshop at the Wellcome Trust as part of a project investigating the opportunities and challenges of new DNA sequencing technologies and whole genome sequencing for medicine and health care.