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Department of Genetics



Richard is a computational biologist. He is a Professor of Genetics at the University of Cambridge and currently an Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

He is involved in a wide variety of genomic genetics projects from a computational and mathematical perspective. Current interests include genetic variation, evolutionary and population genetics in humans and cichlid fishes, and algorithms and software for high-throughput sequencing and genome assembly.

In the past Richard has led a number of large scale genomics projects, including the 1000 Genomes Project (with David Altshuler at the Broad Institute) and the UK10K project, both of which completed in 2015, and the gorilla reference sequencing project. Previously I worked on sequence analysis software including hidden Markov model (HMM) methods for gene finding and protein similarity detection, jointly authoring a book Biological Sequence analysis with Sean Eddy, Anders Krogh and Graeme Mitchison. I also helped establish a number of reference genomic databases including WormBase for C.elegans biology (using the ACeDB software I co-developed with Jean Thierry-Mieg), PfamTreeFam and Ensembl.

Research interests

Richard's group works on genetic and evolutionary analysis of whole genome sequence data sets, using computational and mathematical approaches. Much of our research in the last five years has involved the discovery and analysis of human genetic variation using large data sets (1000 Genomes Project, UK10K, HGDP etc.), but more recently we have also begun working on the evolutionary genomics of other species, in particular cichlid fishes.

Research Group Links

Durbin, Richard – Wellcome Sanger Institute



Key publications: 
Al Kindi Professor of Genetics
Professor Richard  Durbin
Areas of Interest: 
Evolutionary and Computational Genomics
Email address: 
Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH,
United Kingdom
Office phone: 
+44 (0)1223 760252
Takes PhD students