Alan Robinson

Alan Robinson

Bioinformatics Facility

Understanding mitochondria using computer modelling

We use computational tools to understand the metabolism and energy production of mitochondria, and study the genetic causes of mitochondrial diseases, as well as common diseases where energy production is affected, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Our aims are to use computational methods to: improve the genetic diagnoses of mitochondrial diseases; identify new proteins involved in mitochondrial function and diseases; understand the progression and variable penetrance of mitochondrial diseases; identify small molecules as candidates for new therapies for mitochondrial diseases; and investigate structural mechanisms of mitochondrial diseases.

Publication profile - Google Scholar

Research areas

Group Members




1988 - 1992
St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. B. A. (Hons.) Chemistry (Class I).
1992 - 1996
Physical Chemistry Laboratory, University Oxford. D. Phil. on “Computer simulation of lipid bilayers & biological membranes”. Supervised by Prof. Graham Richards. Member of Brasenose College, University of Oxford.


Programmer, Computational chemistry group, GlaxoWellcome Research Centre, Stevenage.
1996 - 1998
Research Officer in Industry Programme (Applied computing & Bioinformatics), EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton.
1998 - 2001
Team Leader of Industry Programme EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton.
2001 - 2002
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, U. K. Sabbatical supported by Prof. Michael Ashburner.
2002 - 2003
Team Leader of “e-Science Initiative”, EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton.
2003 - present
Head of Bioinformatics Group, MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit, Cambridge.
2005 - 2010
Group Leader, Bioinformatics, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (formerly the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit), Cambridge.
2010 - present
Head of Bioinformatics, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge.