Janani Durairaj


I’m a postdoctoral researcher in Torsten Schwede’s Protein Bioinformatics in 3D research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. I work at the interface of protein structural bioinformatics and machine learning, developing efficient algorithms and software to represent, explore and understand protein structures for applications ranging from enzyme engineering to drug discovery.


Sep 13, 2023 ‘A Pandora’s box’: map of protein-structure families delights scientists
Jun 28, 2022 Winner of the BioSB Young Investigator Award “for a young researcher who has significantly contributed to the bioinformatics or the systems biology research community in the Netherlands.”
Nov 6, 2021 Kickstarted a structural bioinformatics newsletter with the group: FoldedWeekly
Sep 15, 2021 Defended my PhD thesis entitled “Computational approaches to discover novel enzymes for fragrance and flavour”, cum laude!
Sep 1, 2021 Started as a postdoc at the Protein Bioinformatics in 3D research group.
Jun 30, 2021 Talked about what I’ll be working on as part of the LIGATE project.

selected publications

journal articles


  1. Nature
    Uncovering new families and folds in the natural protein universe
    Janani Durairaj, Andrew M Waterhouse, Toomas Mets, Tetiana Brodiazhenko, Minhal Abdullah, Gabriel Studer, Gerardo Tauriello, Mehmet Akdel, Antonina Andreeva, Alex Bateman, Tanel Tensor, Vasili Hauryliuk, Torsten Schwede, and Joana Pereira

    In Nature

  2. Proteins
    Automated benchmarking of combined protein structure and ligand conformation prediction
    Michèle Leemann, Ander Sagasta, Jerome Eberhardt, Torsten Schwede, Xavier Robin, and Janani Durairaj

    In Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics


  1. NSMB
    A structural biology community assessment of AlphaFold2 applications
    Mehmet Akdel*, Douglas E V Pires*, Eduard Porta Pardo*, Jürgen Jänes*, Arthur O Zalevsky*, Bálint Mészáros*, Patrick Bryant*, Lydia L. Good*, Roman A Laskowski*, Gabriele Pozzati, Aditi Shenoy, Wensi Zhu, Petras Kundrotas, Victoria Ruiz Serra, Carlos H M Rodrigues, Alistair S Dunham, David Burke, Neera Borkakoti, Sameer Velankar, Adam Frost, Kresten Lindorff-Larsen, Alfonso Valencia#, Sergey Ovchinnikov#, Janani Durairaj#, David B Ascher#, Janet M Thornton#, Norman E Davey#, Amelie Stein#, Arne Elofsson#, Tristan I Croll#, and Pedro Beltrao#

    In Nature Structural & Molecular Biology