2 min readTwo Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Researchers Elected to EMBO Membership

Hinxton, UK – Two researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have been awarded membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), which promotes excellence in molecular life sciences in Europe by recognizing and fostering talented scientists.

EMBO has announced the election of 66 new members: the two honoured from the Sanger Institute are Dr Richard Durbin and Professor Mike Stratton. Dr Durbin co-leads the 1000 Genomes Project and Professor Stratton co-leads the Cancer Genome Project.

According to the report from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Dr Durbin was instrumental in developing databases to provide access to genome sequences and to analyse genomes for content. He used next-generation DNA sequencing to study yeast genome variation, a project that allowed him to examine methods to be used in the 1000 Genomes Project.

“I am honoured to be elected to the membership of EMBO,” says Dr Durbin. “EMBO has played a vital role in ensuring the health of molecular biology in Europe and is a paradigm for efficient collaboration across Europe.”

Dr Durbin was a member of the Institute’s original Board of Management and was Deputy Director until he stepped down to take on the 1000 Genomes Project.

Professor Stratton took over from Dr Durbin as Deputy Director: he co-leads the Institute’s Cancer Genome Project, one of the largest efforts in the world to understand the genetic basis of cancers.

“EMBO has played an important role in science policy across Europe and in funding important research,” says Professor Stratton. “I am delighted to be elected to its membership and I would like to thank all those who have worked with me over the years for their encouragement, tolerance, support and good humour.”

EMBO elects new members annually on the basis of scientific excellence. The latest scientists to join the group come from 16 different countries and represent a broad cross-section of researchers from all fields of molecular biology.

“I am delighted that the work of these two outstanding researchers has been recognized in this way,” says Professor Allan Bradley, FRS and an EMBO fellow and Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “Each has worked with diligence and insight to forge a research area that, without their efforts, would have struggled to emerge.”

“The election once again puts a spotlight on the most outstanding representatives of the current generation of life scientists. We look forward to the fresh impulses this exceptional group will bring to our organization,” said EMBO Director Hermann Bujard.

Founded in 1964 to serve, what was then, the emerging discipline of molecular biology, EMBO promotes excellence in molecular life sciences in Europe by recognizing and fostering talented scientists. It seeks to achieve the highest scientific standards and promote cross-border exchange and collaborative research.

EMBO elects new members annually on the basis of scientific excellence: membership now comprises 1420 of the world’s foremost molecular biologists.

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