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Richard Durbin: archives

  • Durbin, Richard M. (b.1960)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The Collection contains records regarding Dr Richard Durbin's work as a computational geneticist. The majority of the records relate to his work on the nematode worm C. elegans, both his PhD research on the worm's nervous system and his contribution to efforts to sequence the worm's genome. The records include: laboratory notebooks and working papers; presentations given; meetings and conferences attended; projects and committees that he was involved with; manuscripts and correspondence for published papers; correspondence.

There are also records relating to the administration of the Sanger Institute from Durbin's time on the Board of Management. These cover strategic planning, the Finance and Budget Committee, staffing and staff training and campus building works.

A small section of records relate to the organisation of Durbin's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stanford University, California in the late 1980s

Original file titles have been retained where they exist



Physical description

34 boxes


The files have been arranged into the following sections to best reflect how they were created and used:

Section A: Laboratory work

Section B: Sanger Institute administrative files

Section C: Conference and meeting papers

Section D: Publications

Section E: Academic administrative files

Section F: Correspondence

Acquisition note

Donated by Dr Richard Durbin in December 2012.

Biographical note

Richard Durbin was born on 30 December 1960. He graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1982 with a degree in mathematics and obtained his PhD, also from the University of Cambridge, in 1987 by studying the development and organisation of the nervous system of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004.

Durbin joined the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge in 1982 and worked there whilst completing his PhD. His early work included developing the software for one of the first x-ray crystallography area detectors and developing the MRC Biorad confocal microscope, which won the 1994 Royal Society Mullard Award. He left the LBM in 1988 to take up a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stanford University, California, but returned in 1990 to work with John Sulston and Alan Coulson on sequencing the C. elegans genome. In partnership with Jean Thierry-Mieg, Durbin developed the genome database ACeDB to hold the resulting sequencing data.

In 1992 Durbin was seconded to the newly founded Sanger Centre, now the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, as Head of Informatics. He moved permanently to the Centre in 1996 and served as the Sanger Centre's Deputy Director from 1997 to 2006. He played an important role in the collection and interpretation of sequence data for the Human Genome Project. Durbin has developed numerous methods for computational sequence analysis. He is currently (2014) Acting Head of Computational Genomics at the Sanger Institute and leader of its Genome Informatics group. He also co-leads the international 1000 Genomes Project, sequencing the genomes of a large number of people to provide a resource on human genetic variation, and leads the UK10K project, a genome-wide study exploring rare variants in different types of disease.

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Terms of use

This collection has been catalogued and is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records.

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