Deputy Director General

The Deputy Director General assists the Director General in relation to engagement with EMBL Member States and external representation.

Professor Ewan Birney FRS is Deputy Director General of EMBL, and also a joint Director of EMBL-EBI.

As Director of EMBL-EBI he provides oversight and leadership with Rolf Apweiler for the direction of EMBL-EBI, working closely with Associate Directors Paul Flicek, Jo McEntyre and the Head of Research at EMBL-EBI, Nick Goldman.

Ewan completed his PhD at the Wellcome Sanger Institute with Richard Durbin. In 2000, he became Head of Nucleotide data at EMBL-EBI and in 2012 he took on the role of Associate Director at the institute. He became Director of EMBL-EBI in 2015.

Ewan is a non-executive Director of Genomics England, and a consultant and advisor to a number of companies, including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Dovetail Genomics and GSK. Ewan was elected an EMBO member in 2012, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. In 2019, Ewan became a Board Member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Ewan continues to direct a small research group focused on outbred genetics in human and Japanese rice paddy fish.

EMBL is an inter-governmental organisation with 29 member states, one associate member and one prospect member that is led by the Director General, Prof. Edith Heard, appointed by the EMBL Council.