Ewan Birney, who will become an associate director at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute in April, tells Nature that his love of science "has helped me to get through some difficult times, when I've pushed myself and others perhaps too hard." Birney, whose career trajectory the journal profiles this week, says that for his new managerial post, "hiring excellent people, setting up situations for them to succeed in and coaching and mentoring them will be key parts."
Over at his blog, Birney expands on Nature's coverage, discussing how became interested in bioinformatics — which he says is no longer a stand-alone field. "I would argue that bioinformatics has already become an everyday part of modern biology, and that it has begun to filter through the entire system," Birney says. Of his upcoming job change, Birney adds that "one thing I'll regret as I take on the new co-Associate Director job is working on the kind of big scientific consortia I've been so involved with over the past decade — human, mouse, chicken and above all ENCODE. That work has been a huge part of my career and I'm sure I will miss being so deeply involved in that kind of research."