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Professor Dame Janet Thornton 

Profile photo of Janet Thornton
Year started



Computational Biology

Fellow Type


Following in Mike Ashburner’s footsteps at the Genome Campus at Hinxton, Janet Thornton became Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute, which is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, in 2001. She is a pioneer of structural bioinformatics, using computational methods to understand protein structure and form. Her use of computer techniques to facilitate the organisation and analysis of biological data and to predict biological patterns and processes has been fundamental to the creation of the new science of bioinformatics. She remained Director until 2015, overseeing a major growth in the institute and a huge increase in the importance of bioinformatics and data resources in the life sciences. In 2015 Janet stepped down as Director to return to leading a small research group at EMBL-EBI. Janet Thornton was the first female Fellow of Churchill to hold a Fellowship of the Royal Society.

Thornton Group – EBI