EMBL 50th Anniversary

Europe’s life science laboratory celebrates 50 years of excellence

Europe's life sciences laboratory hits a big milestone in 2024.

The occasion not only offers us an opportunity to share stories from past achievements, but more importantly, serves as a reminder to keep moving forward by pursuing tough scientific questions, pushing the frontiers of molecular biology, and further integrating with other disciplines to have real-world impact.

Join us in celebrating and reflecting on EMBL’s traditions and looking forward as it takes European life sciences to new heights.

Science illustration representing research on organoids, organs-on-chip, and human health. The abstract composition shows several elements representing research into organoids and microphysiological systems, and their intertwined role in understanding health and disease.
In the early 1980s, EMBL Heidelberg Group Leader Jacques Dubochet and technician Alasdair McDowall discovered that flash-freezing proteins in liquid ethane could preserve their structure during microscopy – a process called vitrification. Credit: Alexander Mahmoud. ©Nobel Media AB 2017

Important anniversary news & links

EMBL is gearing up for its 50th anniversary with plans to recognise this milestone via a two-day exciting scientific symposium, as well as other stakeholder-engagement events. Throughout the year, as more and more events unfold, we’ll announce them here, so watch this space!

EMBL’s Italian site was officially founded in 1999, and today it focuses on the interdisciplinary investigation of epigenetics and neurobiology. EMBL Rome will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a scientific symposium on 25 October.

EMBL’s current research programme expands EMBL’s scope to study the molecular basis of life in the context of changing environments, transforming our understanding of life on earth and informing potential solutions for some of society’s biggest challenges, such as biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance, pollution, climate change, food security, and emergent pathogens.

Since 1974, EMBL has been leading the way in European life sciences. Today, with support from 29 member states, EMBL researchers continue to expand this scientific frontier in Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, EMBL-EBI Hinxton, and Rome.

EMBL is a community, and we value each member of that community. We hope you can join us in some fashion as we celebrate our first 50 years and look forward to the next 50 and beyond! Here are a few ideas to show your EMBL spirit and support during this milestone year.