Richard Durbin


Richard is involved in a wide variety of genomic genetics projects from a computational and mathematical perspective. Current interests include human genetic variation, evolutionary and population genetics and algorithms and software for high throughput sequencing. He is interested in sequencing ancient DNA samples and modelling human population movements and evolutionary history. Development of new novel graph-based reference genome structures and mapping software in the context of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. Development of efficient computational methods for very large scale haplotype sequence compression and matching using positional Burrows-Wheeler transform (PBWT) approaches and applying them to population inference and imputation, including in the context of a collaboration with Jonathan Marchini at Oxford and Goncalo Abecasis at Michigan to build a very large scale haplotype reference panel in the Haplotype Reference Consortium. Richard has led a number of large scale genomics projects in the past, including the 1000 Genomes Project (with David Altshuler at the Broad Institute) and the UK10K project which both completed in 2015, and the gorilla reference sequencing project. Previously he 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. He 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), Pfam, TreeFam and Ensembl.