Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Director, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Centre



+44 (0)20 7594 5212m.sternberg Website




306Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Please note that full details of research projects and resources can be found on Professor Sternberg's group web page To go directly to the research page please click here.

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Biographical background

Professor Sternberg's research focusses on protein bioinformatics. He entered this area after obtaining  a first degree in Physics (Cambridge) and a Masters in Computing (Imperial College). He then hopped discipline to undertake a PhD in Biophysics (Oxford).  Starting with his thesis research, he has worked in protein bioinformatics contributing to the elucidation of new principles of form and function and the development of algorithms for prediction of protein structure, function and interactions. Recently these approaches have been extended to study protein systems and logic-based drug discovery. He worked at Oxford, Birkbeck College, Cancer Research UK and established the Structural Bioinformatics Group at Imperial in 2001.  Professor Sternberg is Director of two Centres at Imperial College - Centre for Bioinformatics and Centre for Integrative Systems Biology (CISBIC).  He also has the dual roles of co-ordinating research and training across all Faculties in the College together with providing  bioinformatics support for the entire College (under the management of Dr Sarah Butcher).

Research images

Research objectives

The current objectives of the Structural Bioinformatics Group are:

  • The development of computer algorithms:
             - to predict protein structure from sequence
             - to suggest protein function from sequence or structure
             - to predict the structure of a protein complex starting from the unbound components
  • The analysis of protein structure and function with the aim of deriving evolutionary insights
  • The modelling and comparison of biology networks to provide insights into Systems Biology
  • The modelling of the activity and toxicity of small molecules as an aid to the design of novel drugs.

The group's web page ( provides access to web servers for several areas of protein modelling including protein structure prediction (3D-PSSM / PHYRE), protein-protein docking (3D-GARDEN) and protein function prediction (CONFUNC). Of particular note is the use by the community of the programs 3D-PSSM and Phyre. The 3D-PSSM paper has over 1282 citations (ISI Web of Science) and the server web page has had over 250,000 visits. The more recent program Phyre has approximately 5000 requests per month. Recent work has extended these concepts to study biology networks and to identify novel drugs.

Professor Sternberg's group interacts closely with the groups of Professor Michael Stumpf (Theoretical Systems Biology Group) and  Professor Stephen Muggleton (in the use of advanced machine learning) at Imperial. In addition, there are collaborations with members of the Centre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College (CISBIC) and the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Please note that full details of research projects and resources can be found on Professor Sternberg's group web page


BBSRC                                      BBSRC

DTI                                              DTI

EPSRC                                        epsrc

European Commision                    EU

MRC (Medical Research Council)  MRC

Syngenta                    Syngenta

Wellcome Trust            Wellcome Trust


Prof Simon Carding, Insititute of Food Research, Norwich, Gut health and food safety: modelling host-microbe interactions with genome-scale metabolic models and multiomics data., 2012 - 2018

BBSRC LOLA Award. Mapping Combinatorial Stress Responses in Bacteria Using Chimeric Proteins and Probabilistic Modelling, Imperial College London, 2009

Institute of Cancer Research