The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences.
EMBL operates from six sites across Europe:
- Heidelberg, Germany - main laboratory
- Hinxton, UK - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
- Grenoble, France - research and services for structural biology
- Hamburg, Germany - research and services for structural biology
- Rome, Italy - epigenetics and neurobiology
- Barcelona, Spain - tissue biology and disease modelling
Governance of EMBL
EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation specialising in basic research in the life sciences, funded by public research monies from more than 20 member states, including much of Europe and Israel, and two associate members, Argentina and Australia. EMBL is led by the Director General, currently Professor Iain Mattaj, appointed by the governing body, EMBL Council. The Council is comprised of representatives of all member and associate member states.
The cornerstones of EMBL's mission are to:
- perform basic research in molecular biology;
- train scientists, students and visitors at all levels;
- offer vital services to scientists in the member states;
- develop new instruments and methods;
- actively engage in technology transfer;
- and to integrate European life science research.
Research at EMBL
Research at EMBL emphasises experimental analysis at multiple levels of biological organisation, from the molecule to the organism, as well as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology.
Research is conducted by more than 80 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. EMBL is international, innovative and interdisciplinary. Its 1600 employees from many nations represent scientific disciplines including biology, physics, chemistry and computer science.
Outstanding training is available at multiple levels: PhD students, postdocs and visiting scientists. EMBL hosts a comprehensive schedule of courses, conferences and workshops, many organised in collaboration with EMBL's sister organisation, EMBO (short for European Molecular Biology Organization). Additionally, the Laboratory offers a platform for dialogue with the general public through various science communication activities such as lecture series, public visitor programmes and the dissemination of scientific achievements.
Services provided by EMBL include:
- core biomolecular databases and bioinformatics tools, particularly at EMBL-EBI;
- the provision of beamlines, instrumentation and high-throughput technology for structural biology at the Hamburg and Grenoble oustations;
- Core Facilities, which provide cost-effective and efficient access to methods and technologies that are expensive to set up or maintain, or that require considerable expense.