Giving the EMBO Keynote Lecture:
PROFESSOR DAME JANET THORNTON, FRS, FMedSci
European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD.
Janet Thornton is a Senior Research Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. She was Director of the Institute from 2001-2015. EMBL-EBI provides core bioinformatics data and services and performs bioinformatics research.
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 is also investigating variants in developmental diseases and the molecular basis of ageing.
MORTEN SOGAARD, PhD
PFIZER. Responsibility for Genome Sciences & Technologies reporting to the president of worldwide R&D, and a member of the worldwide R&D leadership team (WRDLT). As part of his responsibilities Morten oversees Pfizer’s human genetics, computational biomedicine & target validation, companion diagnostic and biospecimen management organizations. He also has responsibility for guiding Pfizer’s investments in platform technologies and is the R&D member on Pfizer’s big data operating committee. He was previously responsible for strategic technology and oncology collaborations as part of External R&D Innovation, and co-led several Pfizer-wide strategy initiatives on Precision Medicine and scientific technologies.
INDUSTRY CAREER. Morten started his industry career at Pharmacia in Lund, Sweden, where he quickly advanced to section head, protein engineering and responsible for all aspects of next generation immuno-oncology antibody therapeutics overseeing a cross functional team across 3 sites in Italy and Sweden. In 1998, Morten moved to AstraZeneca where he headed up the Molecular Sciences Department in Mölndal, Sweden leading about 100 scientists conducting genomics, proteomics, genetics and protein family research. He also headed up AZ’s global nuclear receptor program and was a member of the CVGI management team In 2004 Morten moved to Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, CT as VP and global head of enabling technology and a member of BI’s global research leadership team. In this role he helped build a world-wide enabling technology function comprising global technology skill centers (Mab Lead discovery, high throughput protein expression, functional genomics, compound pool optimization, and fragment based screening), research informatics and an infrastructure for biologics research, and briefly served as Head of R&D Informatics.
EDUCATION. Morten received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Thesis work done at the Carlsberg Laboratory, Dept. of Chemistry focused on heterologous protein expression and enzymology, and he subsequently did postdoctoral studies at Sloan Kettering Institute in New York with Nobel Laureate Jim Rothman focusing on protein transport funded by NIH Fogarty and EMBO fellowships. 30+ publications including first author publications in PNAS, JBC, Cell, Gene, and BIO/technology.