Professor Ewan Birney is joint Director of EMBL-EBI with Rolf Apweiler, nonexecutive Director of Genomics England and Chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

Ewan also runs a small research group at EMBL-EBI. He 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 also led the analysis group for the ENCODE project, which is defining functional elements in the human genome.

Ewan’s 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.

Ewan 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. He 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. Ewan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8314-8497