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Richard Durbin is a Senior Group Leader and joint Head of Human Genetics at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. He received a BA in Mathematics, and a PhD in Biology from Cambridge University. After postdoctoral research in neural networks at Stanford University, he joined the genome project at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1990, then the Sanger Institute when it was founded in 1992. His initial focus was in bioinformatics, contributing to the analysis of the human genome sequence and leading the development of biological data resources including ACeDB and Pfam, while also making theoretical and algorithmic contributions to biological sequence analysis. Currently he co-leads the 1000 Genomes Project to produce a deep catalogue of human genetic variation by large scale DNA sequencing, and the UK10K collaboration to extend sequence based genetics to samples with clinically relevant phenotypes. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004.