Professor Ewan Birney CBE FRS

Professor Birney is Deputy Director General of EMBL and Director of EMBL-EBI.

Ewan completed his PhD at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. In 2000, he became Head of Nucleotide Data at EMBL-EBI and Director in 2015. In 2020, Ewan became the EMBL Deputy Director General, assisting the Director General with engagement with EMBL Member States and external representation. 

Ewan led the analysis of the Human Genome gene set, mouse and chicken genomes and the ENCODE project, focusing on non-coding elements of the human genome. Ewan’s main areas of research include functional genomics, DNA algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information, and use of images for chromatin structure.

Ewan is a Non-Executive Director of Genomics England, and a consultant and advisor to companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Dovetail Genomics and GSK. Ewan was elected an EMBO member in 2012, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.

He has received 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.