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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Ewan Birney, 29

Biotechnology

European Bioinformatics Institute

Think of the human genome as Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the original Russian—immense, exciting, but for most, indecipherable. British bioinformatician Ewan Birney wants to make the genome’s information accessible to all. His Ensembl software and data allow researchers to find information on the Web on any known or predicted gene and to automatically match pieces of genes they have sequenced with other genes—without tediously combing through endless raw-sequence data. Cofounded by Birney, the Ensembl project has become one of the most popular resources for genome research, and its software is freely available to use and modify. With his related work adapting programming languages such as Perl and Java to biological projects, Birney has become a force in the bioinformatics open-source community. “In bioinformatics” he says, “the software is actually not that important. What’s much more important is the data.” Birney’s ambitious tools will help researchers deliver on the promise of new drugs and treatments derived from the Human Genome Project.

2002 TR35 Winners

Ewan Birney

Biotechnology

Fiona Brinkman

Biotechnology

Chris Burge

Biotechnology

Benjamin Cravatt

Biotechnology

Nathaniel David

Biotechnology

Susan Hagness

Medicine

Derek Hansford

Materials

J. Joseph Kim

Medicine

Steven Laken

Medicine

Kelvin Lee

Medicine

Milan Mrksich

Materials

Stephen OConnor

Biotechnology

Alexander Olek

Biotechnology

Vijay Pande

Biotechnology

Stephen Quake

Materials

David Sabatini

Biotechnology

John Santini

Medicine

David Schaffer

Medicine

Christoph Westphal

Biotechnology

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