School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

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Richard Emes

Professor of Bioinformatics - Sub Dean for Research, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Richard Emes is Professor of Bioinformatics at Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and Director of the University of Nottingham Advanced Data Analysis Centre ADAC. He is also School sub-dean for Reseach.

Richard initially studied Zoology at the University of Wales (First Class, 1996) and completed a PhD in molecular parasitology (Glasgow 2000). But then undertook post-doctoral positions at Oxford University and the Sanger Institute Cambridge developing bioinformatics and comparative genomics approaches to investigate the evolution of genes and genomes. He was subsequently awarded an MRC Fellowship in Bioinformatics to study molecular evolution at University College London. His research interests are in bioinformatics, comparative genomics and molecular evolution particularly in the fields of pathogen biology, epigenetics and neurobiology. He joined Nottingham University in 2009 and promoted to Professor of Bioinformatics in 2015.

His research interests are in bioinformatics - the application of computational methods to study biological problems, comparative genomics and evolution. His computational lab is working to develop models to understand human and animal health and disease.

Emes Group Webpages and links to software

Advanced Data Analyis Centre (ADAC)

Impact and Outputs:

Google Scholar Profile


Group Members:

  • Dr Philip Quinlan (ADAC Chief Technical Officer)
  • Dr Tom Giles (ADAC Analyst)
  • Dr Jo Moreton (ADAC Analyst)
  • Andrew Warry (ADAC Analyst)

Post Doctoral researchers

  • Dr Adam Blanchard Understanding inflammatory processes in ovine footrot to inform rational vaccine design. (BBSRC)
  • Dr Juan Xu Genetics of one-carbon metabolism in sheep in relation to productivity, fertility and health (BBSRC)

Post graduate students

  • Maqsud Hossain (PhD Student 2011-2015) - Bioinformatic analysis of pathogen genes and genomes.
  • Abril Izquierdo (PhD Student 2015-2018) - comparative transcriptomics and molecular evolution.
  • Kameswara Venkata Rama (MSc Student 2016) - De novo transcriptome assembly and annotation of the brain of common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus).

Previous Group Members

  • Dr Tania Dottorini Molecular Basis of mating and reproduction in Anopheles species. (Independent Research Fellow) Now Assistant Prof in Bioinformatics SVMS.
  • Dr Adam Blanchard (PhD Student 2012-2015) co-supervised with Prof Jamie Leigh SVMS - The use of random mutagenesis in the functional annotation of the genome of Streptococcus uberis.
  • Dr Sandie Choong Siew Shean (PhD Student 2012-2015) co supervised with Dr Nigel Mongan and Dr Lisa Yon SVMS - Comparative transcriptomics of adipose tissue.
  • Frank Wessely (PhD Student 2010-2013). Currently Post Doc University of Oxford.
  • Ornampai Japa (PhD Student 2010-2013). Currently lecturer University of Phayao, Thailand.
  • Dr Tom Giles (Bioinformatics Intern 2012). Currently ADAC analyst.
  • Ishan Ajmera (Bioinformatics Intern 2012). Currently PhD student University of Nottingham.
  • Avnish Kumar (Visiting Scientist from National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources India). Detecting polymorphisms in animal genomes
  • Sarah Smith: PhD student SVMS Nottingham (2008-2012). Polymorphic variants of toll-like receptors. Currently Postdoc at Sheffield University.
  • Harry Clifford (Genetics Society Summer studentship 2011 and Bioinformatics Intern 2012) - Effect of anti-epileptic drugs on fetal DNA methylation. Currently Post Doctoral Scientist Cambridge University.
  • Libin Joy (MSc Student 2009) - A Bioinformatics approach to detect location bias in CpG island methylation related to maternal folate intake. Currently application scientist at Strand Life Sciences.
  • Satish Pendurthi (MSc Student 2011) - Clustering methods for epigenetic analysis.
  • Amelia Pollard (BBSRC Research Experience Placement 2011) co-supervised with Dr Lisa Chakrabarti SVMS - Does the mitochondrial proteome change according to tissue type and age? Currently PhD student, University of Nottingham.
  • Oliver Heygate (Wellcome Trust Summer studentship 2011) co-supervised with Dr Lisa Chakrabarti SVMS - Do changes occur in the mitochondrial proteome of the cerebellum as the neurons develop to maturity? Currently Year 4 Vet Med Student.


Expertise Summary

Richard Emes is an elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He is Speciality Chief Editor of Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and is the Sutton Bonington Campus local representative of the Genetics Society of Great Britain.

University of Nottingham Expertise Guide.

Teaching Summary

Prof Emes' teaching interests are in bioinformatics, genomics, research methods and presentation of scientific data. The teaching is directly informed by the past and present research carried out by… read more

Research Summary

Bioinformatics is a cohesive discipline bringing together computer science statistics and biology. I collaborate widely with experimental and computational biologists. Current areas of active… read more

Prof Emes' teaching interests are in bioinformatics, genomics, research methods and presentation of scientific data. The teaching is directly informed by the past and present research carried out by Prof Emes.

Undergraduate Teaching

Veterinary Medicine BVMBVS

  • Year 1: Introduction to data presentation and numerical analysis.
  • Year 3: Veterinary Research Methods
  • Year 3: Veterinary Research Project
  • Embedded Module: Scientific and technical information and documentation methods, module convenor.

Postgraduate Teaching

Protein Interactions (Integrative Systems Biology MSc, University of Nottingham)

Current Research

Bioinformatics is a cohesive discipline bringing together computer science statistics and biology. I collaborate widely with experimental and computational biologists. Current areas of active research include:

i) Comparison of complex biological datasets.

Biologists are fortunate to be researching in a data rich age, where gene and genome sequences from multiple species are available and can be linked either independently or through specialist databases to data types as diverse as structure, function, expression and evolutionary history. The successful mining and combination of this data can bolster traditional bench research by providing a filter or by generation of novel avenues of research (Emes Methods Mol Biol 2008).

ii) Comparative genomics of the mammalian synapse proteome.

Analysis of the post-synaptic proteome, a defined group of proteins with known importance in the processes of learning and memory, offers an insight into the development and evolution of the synapse, the basic building block of cognition. In collaboration with Seth Grant, The Sanger Institute, I am leading investigations into the evolutionary origin and subsequent modification of the protein networks of the mammalian synapse (see Emes et al Nature Neuroscience 2008, Nithianantharajah et al Nature Neuroscience 2013 and Emes and Grant Annual Reviews in Neuroscience 2012).

iii) Detection of adaptive evolution in genes and genomes.

The differential behaviour of therapeutics in varied organisms as highlighted by the disastrous effects of TGN1412 treatment during recent human drug trials has led pharmaceutical companies to re-evaluate how drug targets are selected. In collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline we have developing methods to allow the rapid identification of genes/pathways subject to differential adaptive evolution along human and experimental model organism lineages, by screening of multiple whole genome data (Vamathevan et al BMC Evol Biol 2008).

Major External Collaborators:

Future Research

Bioinformatics is a fast changing discipline, my lab aims to be analyzing important and interesting findings using the latest technologies.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415