Transversal research themes

EMBL’s future directions will be driven by the goal of understanding life in the context of its environment.

EMBL’s future directions will be driven by the goal of understanding life in the context of its environment. While the effects of the environment on living systems have been well studied at the level of individual organisms and populations, many of the underlying molecular processes remain obscure.

We now have the tools and technologies to explore these processes, allowing us to understand life in its natural context from the level of molecules to whole ecosystems. This new understanding will be critically important if we are to tackle societal challenges such as environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, climate change, and threats to human health such as the emergence of new epidemics.

EMBL’s new transversal research themes will enable us to realise this vision of understanding life in context. The transversal research themes will be highly interdisciplinary and will encourage dynamic internal and external collaborations. These themes will enable transformative discoveries by bringing together experts in fields such as ecology, epidemiology, toxicology, zoology, population genetics, engineering, and mathematical theory. There will be strong support for building collaborations within each theme, as well as with the wider scientific community, not only to enable scientific discovery but also to build these themes across the EMBL sites.

The new transversal themes are:

EMBL is ideally placed to lead bold new enterprises that will advance our understanding of life. As Europe’s only intergovernmental life sciences research organisation, EMBL is recognised for expertise in studying living systems at multiple scales, for providing biological data and scientific services, for developing innovative technologies, and for training and inspiring future scientists. EMBL will use this expertise to take on the ambitious goal of understanding life in context.

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From microscopy to mycology, from development to disease modelling, EMBL researchers cover a wide range of topics in the biological sciences.