From genomes to organisms, EMBL is exploring the secrets of life

EMBL's diverse research programme is pushing the limits of biological knowledge, with our researchers developing innovative techniques and technologies as part of the process.

Learn more about EMBL research

EMBL Programme

Renewed every five years, the Programme guides EMBL to push boundaries in research, services, training and technology.

Interdisciplinary research

EMBL’s interdisciplinary structure is ideally suited to the challenge of studying and understanding biological systems in their full complexity.

Our commitment to Open Science

Wherever possible our databases and software are freely available to the scientific community, and we strongly encourage open access publication.

Research units


Researchers at EMBL-EBI make sense of vast, complex biological datasets produced using new and emerging technologies in molecular biology.

Cell Biology and Biophysics

Scientists in this unit use multidisciplinary approaches to investigate the molecular and biophysical mechanisms that enable cells to function.

Developmental Biology

Scientists in the Developmental Biology Unit seek to understand the fundamental principles that govern multicellular development.

Directors' Research

This unit covers thematically distinct research groups, headed by EMBL and EMBO leadership.

Genome Biology

Scientists in the Genome Biology Unit use and develop cutting-edge methods to study how information across different molecular layers (DNA, RNA, Proteins, metabolites) are regulated, processed, and utilised, and how their variation leads to different phenotypes, including disease.

Structural and Computational Biology

Scientists in this unit use integrated structural and computational techniques to study biology at scales from molecular structures to organismal communities.

Structural Biology

At its sites in Hamburg and Grenoble, EMBL provides its researchers and hundreds of external users each year with access to world-leading sources of X-ray and neutron radiation, enabling them to study the structures of biological molecules.

Tissue Biology and Disease Modelling

Scientists at EMBL Barcelona use advanced technologies to observe, manipulate, and model how changes in genes percolate through cells, tissues, and organs, in health and disease.

Research news from EMBL's six sites


Understanding how cells work and how they are organised


Chemical tools to answer biological questions


Computing to analyse data from a range of biological experiments


How a single cell becomes a multicellular organism

Disease models

Cell and statistical approaches to better understand diseases


Studying the genetic blueprint that coordinates all cellular processes


Cutting-edge technology, zooming into life at the tiniest scales


How biological tissues develop, work, regenerate, and heal

EMBL has a long standing tradition of scientific excellence that builds on highly interactive research units. We take pride in the level of collaborative work engaged in by our groups and teams, involving both internal and external collaborators.

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