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Fellows Directory

Ewan Birney

Ewan Birney

Dr Ewan Birney CBE FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2014






Ewan Birney is a bioinformatician who has made significant contributions to the analysis of genomes. Through his development of innovative bioinformatics and computational biology tools, researchers around the world are able to predict and annotate regions of interest in DNA with speed and confidence.

Ewan is driven by a desire to make the information contained within the human genome accessible to all. He was a founder of the Ensembl genome browser — a database that enables scientists to analyse the human, mouse and fruit fly genomes with ease. He also led the analysis of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project, an extension of the human genome project that aims to identify all functional elements in the genome.

As Associate Director of EMBL–EBI, Ewan aims to enable biomolecular data to be aggregated, analysed and available to all researchers worldwide. He also continues to have a research focus on genomic algorithms and discovery

Professional positions

Associate Director, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Biological statistics, Evolution, Population genetics
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical)
  • Health and human sciences
    • Medicine, clinical studies


Bioinformatics, Animal genomics, Comparative genomics


  • Francis Crick Medal and Lecture

    On 'Being human: what our genome tells us'.

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