A series of conversations hosted by Churchill’s Master Professor Dame Athene Donald, exploring the individual paths of distinguished professional women who have made it to the top in their own particular ways. How have they found their own solutions to ‘life’, what tips do they wish they’d been given earlier on, and what might they view, retrospectively, with most pleasure or regret?
Professor Dame Janet Thornton DBE, FRS, FMedSci, FRSC
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 and is a Vice President of the European Research Council. Janet Thornton was the first female Fellow of Churchill to hold a Fellowship of the Royal Society.
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