Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Prof Chris Ponting becomes FRSE

Professor Chris Ponting has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: February 2018

Chris Ponting

Congratulations to Professor Chris Ponting on his election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Professor Ponting joined the University of Edinburgh in 2016 and is a Programme Leader and Head of the Biomedical Genomics section of the MRC Human Genetics Unit.

Chris started his research in particle physics before moving via biophysics to bioinformatics and genomics. Aside from one year at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NIH, Bethesda, MD), he pursued his research at the University of Oxford before moving to Edinburgh in 2016. His research group has made substantial contributions to protein science, evolutionary biology, genetics and genomics. Early in his career he discovered many important protein domain families. He then provided the first evolutionary analyses for mammalian genomes whilst leading protein analysis teams for the human and mouse genome sequencing projects. More recently, his research established that 8.2% of the human genome is constrained, and thus is likely functional.

Chris has been on Editorial Boards of Genome Research, Genome Biology, Human Molecular Genetics, Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, and Trends in Genetics, and was a Senior Editor of eLife until 2015. He served as Program Committee member for the CSHL Biology of Genomes, American Society of Human Genetics and Genome Science conferences. He was Head of the UK Node of ELIXIR and Chair of EMBL-EBI’s External Training Advisory Group and founded CGAT (, an MRC-funded training centre. Professor Ponting is also Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.


I am delighted to be welcomed into the Fellowship. Individual recognition, though, should not overshadow the huge influence of colleagues and family on the course of my life’s journey.

Chris PontingChair of Medical Bioinformatics

Chris Ponting Research Group Page

Royal Society of Edinburgh