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Department of Genetics


International Prize for Biology 2023

The Department of Genetics is delighted to announce that Professor Richard Durbin has been awarded the 39th International Prize for Biology by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, which this year focused on the Biology of Genomes.

The award recognises Richard’s development of innovative foundational technologies that underpin many aspects of bioinformatics for genome biology, and his leadership in the generation of fundamental genomics resources. The prize will  be presented in Tokyo in December and to celebrate the award there will be a commemorative symposium on December 16 and 17, 2023 in Yokohama, co-organized by SOKENDAI, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Further details of the Prize and Richard’s award can be found here.

Steve Russell, Head of Department, said: it is fantastic to see Richard’s many important achievements in genome biology being recognised by this prestigious award. Richard’s international leadership in the field has been evident for over 30 years and the impact of his work can be seen across all aspects of genetics and genome biology, with many of the projects he led now providing the foundations on which future discoveries in both the fundamentals of life on earth and the development of personalised medicine will be made. It is difficult to imagine a more impactful contribution to the biology of genomes, from the very beginnings of the Human Genome Project to modern state-of-the-art analysis of multiple genomes, his work has provided a mainstay for global, accessible genomic analysis.


 “I am very honoured to be awarded this prize, which I see as recognising the importance of computational innovation in progressing genome biology, and the contributions of all my colleagues over the years.  Genome science is always a collaborative endeavour, and I am deeply grateful for the open and supportive environment in which I work in Cambridge.” - Richard Durbin