Back to top

Florence Nightingale Lecture 2016

21 Apr 16

The Ninth Lecture

Speaker: Professor Dame Janet Thornton, European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge
Title: Bioinformatics at the heart of biology and genomic medicine


Bioinformatics has changed radically in the last 20 years. When I joined EBI in 2001 the first human genome was just being completed. EBI databases included nucleotide and protein sequences and structures, the beginnings of expression data on arrays and little else. We have seen a massive growth in data, the number of different data types, the emergence of sophisticated data analytics and the pervasiveness of computational biology as a critical component for handling and interpreting these data. For the first time in biology the challenge is to interpret these data, as much as to gather them.

In this talk I will present three small scientific vignettes, drawing on my experiences as Director at EMBl-EBI and research in my own group.

  • Data resources at EBI: today and tomorrow
  • Characterising enzyme function and its evolution
  • Genomic sequencing in medicine: protein structures, variants and infrastructure

I will aim to highlight the changes that have happened, the way it has influenced biological research and the way it will influence genomic medicine.