NHGRI logo

Oral History Collection

Ewan Birney

Ewan Birney, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). Dr. Birney played a key role in the analysis of the human gene set for the Human Genome Project as well as the analysis of the chicken and mouse genomes and several other species. Dr. Birney was a key mind behind the Ensembl genome browser, as well as several other computational tools, such as PairWise and GeneWise. He also has played a key role in the ENCODE Consortium. This oral history covers Birney’s life and education, addressing particularly the influence of Richard Durbin. The interview also covers his entry into the Human Genome Project, his time at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, his interpretation of sundry HGP milestones, and various aspects of the ENCODE Project. Ewan Birney, Ph.D. Deputy Director General of EMBL