Press Release: EBI Senior Appointments

Peter Stoehr stoehr at embl-heidelberg.de
Fri Jul 8 17:51:44 EST 1994

              The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
                          Senior  Appointments
                           EMBL Press Release
                        Heidelberg, 4 July 1994

A  compelling  package  of   senior   appointments   to   the   European
Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), proposed unanimously by an international
selection committee of experts, was ratified last week by the Council of
the  European  Molecular  Biology  Laboratory.   The  EBI  is the newest
Outstation  of  EMBL,  an  international  research  institute  with  its
headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

The new appointments are designed to provide strong  management  of  the
EBI  and  a  high quality nucleus for the research division.  The latter
will complement and closely interact with the service branch of the  EBI
led  by  Graham  Cameron, under whose leadership the EMBL Data Library -
the starting point for the EBI  and  its  continuing  first  priority  -
gained international acclaim.

The Head of EBI will be Paolo Zanella,  Professor  of  Architecture  and
Technologies  of Computers at the University of Geneva.  He is currently
on leave from CERN where he built up a Data Handling Division  with  300
staff  over  15  years.   Since  1990  he has also been a founder, Chief
Executive Officer and Scientific Director of CRS4 in Cagliari, Sardinia,
a  centre  for high-performance computers and networks.  Thus, he brings
to  the  EBI  expertise  and  vision  for  future  developments  in  the
applications   of   informatics,  and  a  highly  successful  record  in
establishing and managing major service and R & D centres.

The Coordinator of Research (50% time)  will  be  Michael  Ashburner,  a
renowned  geneticist  and  Professor at the University of Cambridge, who
has also made major contributions to the development  of  bioinformatics
resources.   Currently he leads the only European group participating in
the NIH-funded development  of  "FlyBase",  an  integrated  resource  of
genetic, molecular and bibliographic data on Drosophila.

The first two Group Leader appointments in the  research  division  have
been  offered  to  Dr.   Chris Sander, currently at EMBL Heidelberg, and
Prof.  Shoshana Wodak, currently at Universite Libre de Bruxelles.  They
are  among the best known European scientists working in the broad field
of sequence/structure relationship of proteins.

These appointments give confidence that the EBI will establish itself as
a  centre  of excellence and reference world-wide in scientific database
management, methodology and development, and in bioinformatics research.
It will provide informatics support for European academic and industrial
research in biology  and  biotechnology,  in  close  collaboration  with
EMBnet  and  other  essential  and independent bioinformatics activities
throughout Europe.

The EBI will be located on the Hinxton Hall site, south of Cambridge  in
the  UK,  which  is  owned by the Wellcome Trust.  The EMBL Data Library
will move to that site in September 1994, beginning the operation of the
EBI.   The site already hosts the Sanger Centre directed by J.  Sulston,
which specialises in genome-scale sequencing, and will also be  the  new
home  of the UK Medical Research Council's Human Genome Project Resource
Centre, directed by K.  Gibson.

On announcing the recent appointments, F.   C.   Kafatos,  the  Director
General  of  EMBL,  acknowledged  the  financial support of the European
Union for the EMBL Data Library,  the  substantial  investments  of  the
Wellcome  Trust  and  the MRC for launching the EBI, and the continuing,
long term support of the EMBL member states that will allow the  EBI  to
serve science well.

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