Michael Ashburner - Curriculum Vitae#


Michael Ashburner was born on the 23th of May 1942 in Sussex, England.

Ashburner started his education at High Wycombe Royal Grammar school in 1953. Then he entered University of Cambridge,where he received his undergraduate degree (1964) and Ph.D. (1968), both in genetics.In 1978 he was awarded a Sc.D, also on Cambridge.

Ashburner then went to the California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow with Hershell Mitchell. In 1979, he returned to the Department of Genetics in Cambridge where he has been based since, as Assistant in Research, University Demonstrator, University Lecturer, Reader in Developmental Biology and Professor (Ad hominem) of Biology (since 1991). He has been Miller Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and visiting professor at the University of California Medical School, San Francisco; University of Crete, Greece; and University of Pavia, Italy. For the period 1994-2001 he was first Research Coordinator and then Joint-Head of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute at Hinxton, Cambridge. During this period he was on 50% leave from the University of Cambridge.

His major research interests are now the structure and evolution of genomes. Most of his research has been with the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, about which he has written the standard research text (Drosophila: A Laboratory Handbook, Cold Spring Harbor Press, New York, 1989, 2nd ed. 2005). His research has covered a range of subjects, from classical genetics, developmental biology, cytogenetics to evolution, at both molecular and organismal levels. He was a member of the consortium which recently sequenced the entire genome of this fly. He has had a strong interest in the provision of databases for biologists for about 15 years. He is a founder of FlyBase, a major database for researchers using Drosophila as a model organizer, and of the Gene Ontology Consortium, a project to provide infrastructure for biological databases by a defined taxonomy of gene function.

Ashburner was a member of the Board of Management at European Drosophila Stock Centre in Sweden for eight years, from 1978 until 1995. He also played an important role on the NIH Oversight Committee, Drosophila Stock Centre in Indiana 1989.

Ashburner is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of the Academia Europeae. He is also a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and past president of the British Genetical Society. Ashburner also is a Professorial Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

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