Professor Dame Janet Thornton
Professor Dame Janet Thornton is a British scientist, and Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute. She is one of the world’s leading researchers in structural bioinformatics, using computational methods to understand protein structure, function and evolution.
After graduating in Physics, she studied for her PhD in Biophysics at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in London. She then moved to Oxford, where she worked in molecular biophysics with David Phillips until 1978, when she returned to the NIMR and, subsequently, to a Fellowship at Birkbeck College, University of London.
In 1990 she was appointed Professor and Director of the Biomolecular Structure and Modelling Unit at University College London, and was later appointed to the Bernal Chair in the Crystallography Department at Birkbeck College.
In October 2001 she became Director of the EMBL – European Bioinformatics Institute on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton, near Cambridge. In the same year, she received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) award.
In 1999 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 2000. In 2002 she was appointed Extraordinary Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge and Honorary Professor, University of Cambridge and in 2003 she was elected a Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. She received the Dame of the British Empire (DBE) award in 2012.