EMBL is Europe’s leading life sciences laboratory

We conduct world-class excellent biological research, provide training for students and scientists, and provide state-of-the-art technologies for a wide range of scientific and experimental services.

Some 1800 people working at six sites throughout Europe produce around 700 publications per year, and run events and conferences at the cutting edge of biological research.

EMBL seeks to better understand the molecular basis of life. In the process, we’re changing European science.

EMBL is led by the Director General, currently Professor Edith Heard, appointed by the governing body, EMBL Council. The Council is comprised of representatives of all member and associate member states and ensures that the financial requirements of the agreement establishing EMBL and of the agreements with host member states are complied with.



EMBL, a centre of excellence for Europe's leading molecular biologists, pursues five missions

Scientific Programme

EMBL’s activities are planned in five-year cycles and outlined in a document called the EMBL Programme

Member states

EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation with 27 member states, one associate member and two prospect members


Administration units support all parts of EMBL and deliver long-term strategic administrative planning

History and Legal Status

EMBL was founded in 1974 to promote molecular biology in Europe, train young scientists, and develop new technologies

International Relations

EMBL fosters international relations at a political, institutional, and scientific level in Europe and worldwide


Cooperative affiliations between EMBL and external institutions of comparable standard, vision, and international vision


EMBL harnesses its entrepreneurial spirit through technology-transfer programmes and technology spin-offs


The Strategy Office works across all of EMBL’s six sites to develop and align the strategic directions of EMBL


EMBL is committed to transitioning to a sustainable organisation

Ombuds Office

Independent, impartial and confidential support for staff

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a single organisation spread across six European locations. Each of our sites hosts its own research units, services and facilities.

Innovation in the life sciences is rooted in fundamental research. Today’s technology and improved living conditions are the fruits of our past investments in science. By supporting EMBL research with your philanthropic contribution, you are enabling progress in its purest form.

Find out more about how you can support EMBL

As a publicly funded organisation, EMBL has both a responsibility and an interest to feed back on its work; communicating its innovative research programmes and cutting-edge science, and bringing the questions, concerns and responses of the public to the laboratory.

The EMBL Alumni Relations programme is built to advance EMBL and the relevance of life sciences research in the scientific community and society at large, by fostering connections between the laboratory, its member states, current EMBL staff, EMBL alumni and the public.