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Adrian Shepherd: Summary


Positions: Professor of Computational Biology, ISMB and Birkbeck, University of London; Honorary Research Associate, UCL

Research areas: Computational immunology and computational virology (see the Shepherd Group website for more information)

Teaching: Director of the joint Birkbeck/UCL MSc Bioinformatics course and a PI on the SysMIC project (see this page for more information)

Other: Co-Director of the ISMB Wellcome Trust 4 year Interdisciplinary PhD Programme in Structural, Chemical and Computational Biology.


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I arrived at my current academic position via an unusually circuitous route. With a first degree in History of Art and having spent six years working outside academia (as Information Officer for a welfare rights charity and as a journalist), I started a Masters in Computer Science at UCL in 1991. This included a module on neural computing, from which began a continuing interest in machine learning.

A PhD in Neural Computing at UCL followed, after which I joined Prof. Janet Thornton's group to work on protein structure prediction. After a further spell at UCL working on the CATH database for Prof. Christine Orengo, I joined Birkbeck as a Lecturer in Bioinformatics in 2002. I became a Senior Lecturer in Computational Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences in 2009, a Reader in 2014, and Professor of Computational Biology in 2020.

Since 2006, when I became a founding member of the ImmunoGrid Consortium, a major focus of my research has been immunoinformatics. Currently my research group is working on immune responses to: several viruses that have a major global impact on human health (influenza A, HIV, hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus); and protein therapeutics (notably replacement factor VIII used in the treatment of haemophilia A). I also retain an interest in more general computational methods relevant to the field (notably biomedical text mining and data visualisation).

Away from work, I like to spend my time walking in the countryside, taking photos and spending quality time with my family (my wife, Ishani, and our daughter, Rai) — sometimes all of them at the same time!

Adrian Shepherd, 15th June 2020




  • Professor of Computational Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck (from Oct 2020)
  • Honorary Research Associate, Research Department of Structural & Molecular Biology, UCL (from May 2008)
  • Reader in Computational Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck (Oct 2014 to Sep 2020)
  • Senior Lecturer in Computational Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck (Oct 2009 to Sep 2014)
  • Lecturer in Bioinformatics, School of Crystallography, Birkbeck (Oct 2002 to Sep 2009)
  • Senior Research Fellow with Prof. Christine Orengo (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UCL) and Dr Nigel Martin (Computer Science, Birkbeck) (1999-2002)
  • Research Fellow with Prof. Janet Thornton (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UCL) and Dr Denise Gorse (Computer Science, UCL) (1996-9)



  • Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education, Institute of Education (2005)
  • PhD in Neural Computing, UCL (1995)
  • MSc Computer Science, UCL (1992)
  • BA (Hons.) History of Art, UEA (1984).