Year of Honorary Fellowship, 2012
Michael Ashburner FRS is a biologist and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Genetics at University of Cambridge, and the former joint-head and co-founder of the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. He is also a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.
For most of his career he analysed the genetic structure of Drosophila melanogaste, observing the patterns of chromosome puffing to understand the process of genetic control of development. He was one of the team that sequenced the creature’s genome, and went on to play a role in the project to sequence the human genome, as Joint Head of the European Bioinformatics Institute at the genome campus at Hinxton. Michael was the first undergraduate of the College to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.