Richard Durbin has made a powerful contribution to computational biology. In particular, he played a leading role in establishing the new field of bioinformatics. This allows the handling of biological data on an unprecedented scale, enabling genomics to prosper. He led the analysis of the C. elegans genome, and with Jean Thierry-Mieg developed the database software ACEDB. In the international genome project, he led the analysis of protein coding genes. He introduced key computational tools in software and data handling. His Pfam database allowed the identification of domains in new protein sequences; it used hidden Markov models to which approach generally he brought rigour and which led to covariance models for RNA sequence.
Al Kindi Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
Interest and expertise
Scientific information provision
For his outstanding contributions to computational biology, and their impact across many areas of the life sciences.
Royal Society Mullard Award
In recognition of their development of the MRC-600 series laser-scanning confocal imaging system, an ingenious and innovative means of improving the clarity and definition of microscopes.