Professor Dame Janet Thornton is Director Emeritus at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. EMBL-EBI provides core bioinformatics data and services and performs bioinformatics research. She was Director of the Institute from 2001-2015 and was also the architect of ELIXIR, the pan-European data infrastructure for Life Sciences.

Janet’s research is focused on proteins, especially their structure, function and evolution. She is a computational biologist, working at the interface of biology with physics, chemistry, and computing. This includes a detailed analysis of enzyme biocatalysts, their mechanisms and the evolution of new functions. Her group also investigated the molecular basis of ageing. She has published more than 500 scientific papers, was elected to the Royal Society in 1999 and is a Foreign Associate of US National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 she became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to bioinformatics.