University of Cambridge
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology
International Honorary Member
Richard Durbin has been one of the leading scientists in bioinformatics since the 1990s. His early contributions were in critical modern biological instrumentation, X-ray crystallographic detectors and confocal microscopy. He led the computational analysis of the C. elegans genome and with Thierry-Mieg developed one of the first genome databases, AceDB, for that project. He subsequently developed innovative methods for gene finding based on hidden Markov models, and space-efficient data structures for genome assembly. More recently, he led the 1000 Genomes Project, an international effort that used large-scale DNA sequencing to create the first deep catalog of human genomic variation. He continues to work in computational and evolutionary genomics, with a specific interest in the use of new long read single molecule DNA sequencing methods to assemble reference genomes for species across the diversity of life.