EMBL Annual Report

Presenting EMBL’s successes and important events during Edith Heard's first year as Director General.

View the report or see the highlights below | safe

Research highlights

EMBL drives visionary research in molecular biology

More on these in the full report

New group leaders

Meet the newest group leaders advancing EMBL’s research

Welcome: Sebastian Eustermann

Exploring the molecular landscape of chromatin to understand at an atomic level the principles underlying expression and maintenance of genomic information in eukaryotes.

Scientific
services

EMBL offers vital services to scientists

Structural biology and imaging services in numbers

Cross-site and cross-scale services in 2019

Including beamline, cryo-electron microscopy, and light microscopy services at EMBL Barcelona, EMBL Grenoble,* EMBL Hamburg, EMBL Heidelberg, and EMBL Rome in 2019

*Taking into account the ESRF shutdown in Grenoble, due to its upgrade to a fourth-generation synchrotron, the ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source

More than 2500 user visits.
On 1 April 2019 the Foundation Stone Ceremony of the EMBL Imaging Centre took place. Representatives of EMBL and all involved partners took place in the ceremony.
On 1 April 2019 the Foundation Stone Ceremony of the EMBL Imaging Centre took place. Representatives of EMBL and all involved partners took place in the ceremony. Photo: EMBL

Foundation stone laid for EMBL Imaging Centre

The foundation stone for the EMBL Imaging Centre was laid on 1 April 2019, with operations scheduled to begin in 2021. The Imaging Centre will provide access to the latest technologies in light and electron microscopy, alongside data analysis facilities and expert support. Close collaborative links with industry will facilitate technology development and transfer, providing benefits to the scientific community worldwide.

Read more


Innovation and translation

Technology development and transfer, and industry relations

EMBLEM in numbers

EMBLEM’s technology transfer figures in 2019

EMBL’s technology transfer arm, EMBLEM, manages the process of translating EMBL’s fundamental research into practical applications, making the discoveries, technologies, and methods developed at EMBL commercially available. EMBLEM has enjoyed continued success with these endeavours in 2019, including the incorporation of three spin-off companies and supporting EMBL in developing and expanding strategic partnerships with industry at various levels.

Find out more

12,160,000 € in income.

More on these in the full report

Training and public engagement

EMBL trains scientists and engages with the public, schools, and donors

External training in numbers

EMBL’s courses, conferences, and scientific visitors in 2019

Courses and Conferences had 7,479 participants.
Courses.
Conferences.
Scientific visitors.
Courses and Conferences had 7,479 participants.
Courses.
Conferences.
Scientific visitors.
Integrating life sciences

EMBL fosters collaboration among international scientific communities

Edith Heard, EMBL Director General, and Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General of Research and Innovation at the European Commission.
Edith Heard, EMBL Director General, and Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General of Research and Innovation at the European Commission. PHOTO: Marietta Schupp/EMBL

Diverse and united: Science in Europe

In April, EMBL welcomed Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General of Research and Innovation at the European Commission, to EMBL Heidelberg, where he met EMBL Director General Edith Heard and other senior EMBL faculty to discuss topics such as interdisciplinarity, research infrastructures, and collaboration with industry.

Read more


European Research and Innovation Days

In September, EMBL Director General Edith Heard joined the first European Research and Innovation Days, organised by the European Commission. She spoke about EMBL’s successes in the Horizon 2020 framework programme and looked ahead to the next framework, Horizon Europe, emphasising the need to strengthen links between fundamental research and global challenges such as antibiotic resistance and climate change.

Read more

EMBL Director General Edith Heard (right), speaking at the panel session ‘Let’s speak about Europe’s scientific excellence’, with (left to right) Ben Feringa, Valeria Nicolosi and Helmut Schober.
EMBL Director General Edith Heard (right), speaking at the panel session ‘Let’s speak about Europe’s scientific excellence’, with (left to right) Ben Feringa, Valeria Nicolosi and Helmut Schober. PHOTO: Axel Debry/EMBL

More on these in the full report

Alumni impact

EMBL fosters collaboration among international scientific communities

Ilaria Ferlenghi is Head of Structural Microscopy at GSK in Siena, Italy, and uses cryo-EM to study the protein structures of potential vaccines to accelerate their clinical development. She recently devised and developed pioneering new software that allows fast identification of new vaccine candidates.

Ernst Stelzer’s work at EMBL Heidelberg centred on the development of new microscopy technologies. The technologies developed by Ernst and his group continue to revolutionise the life sciences, enabling discoveries in diverse fields including cell biology, developmental biology, and neuroscience.

Wilhelm Ansorge is one of the pioneers in the development of automated technology for genome sequencing and analysis. The technologies developed in his group were used around the world and played a key role in demonstrating the feasibility of the Human Genome Project.

As a postdoc, Gitte Neubauer was one of the founders of EMBL spin-off company Cellzome. In 2011, she was awarded the first EU Prize for Women Innovators in recognition of her groundbreaking work in proteomics and her success in commercialising her research.

More on these in the full report

View the full PDF or browse with the Issuu viewer