Since 1997 Laurence Hurst has been the Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at The University of Bath. Prior to this he was a Royal Society Research Fellow at Cambridge University (1994-1997) and a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford (1991-1993). He was a visiting Professorial Fellow at Collegium Budapest (1995). Between his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University and his doctorate at Oxford University, we was the Henry Fellow at Harvard University.
His research concerns the evolution of genes, genomes and genetic systems. He is especially interested in understanding the fate of apparently innocuous mutations. Current work aims to translate evolutionary understanding of gene and genome evolution into improved diagnostics and healthcare. He also does research on science communication and the best ways to both educate and inform.
He was the recipient of 2003 Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the 2010 Genetics Society Medal, the 2015 VC Research Medal and the 2024 Humboldt Prize. In 2010 he was the inaugural winner of the Excellence in Doctoral Supervision Prize. In 2004 he was elected a member of EMBO. In 2015 he was elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences and to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. He is the founding director of the Genetics and Evolution Teaching Project that researches the best way to teach evolution in schools.
Laurence Hurst is on the Advisory board of the Public Library of Science, Biology and of ExpressionEdits (a company designing transgenes) and is a past-president of the Genetics Society. He sits on numerous editorial boards, including Molecular Systems Biology, BMC Biology, Trends in Genetics, Genome Biology and Evolution, Genome Biology, Biology Direct, BMC Systems Biology, BMC Evolutionary Biology. He is the founding Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution and recipient of an ERC Advanced Award.
He is regularly confused with his younger brother Greg, also a professor of evolutionary genetics (but in Liverpool not Bath).