Our mission is to decipher the fundamental principles that regulate dynamic biological processes.

As a part of the strategic theme Life Sciences, we perform interdisciplinary research that combines biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics to understand living systems at different organization levels from individual molecules, such as DNA, lipids and proteins, to cells and model organisms. Through close interaction between experimentation, theory and simulation, we aim to achieve a systems-level understanding of complex dynamic processes and their evolution.

Studies in different model systems – ranging from membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, and division of animal cells, to the development of microbial colonies, embryos, brain and immune system – are connected by common experimental techniques, such as advanced live cell imaging and computational approaches. The goal of the institute is to elucidate the evolutionary steps, mechanisms and principles that underlie complex, dynamic biological processes and to contribute to developing therapies for cancer, infectious, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases as well as biotechnological innovation.

Embedding in the research landscape of Utrecht University

Both at the experimental and theoretical level, the IBB has strong connections with research groups at the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Medical Center, the Dutch Primate Center BPRC, and the Hubrecht Institute. The collaborative activities cover a broad range of topics and methodologies, including cancer research, immunology, neuroscience, advanced microscopy, genomics, mass spectrometry and structural biology. The Biology Imaging Center forms part of Bioimaging Utrecht, which brings together microscopy-based research within the UU and tightly collaborates with cellular imaging groups on exchanging expertise and providing access to advanced microscopy. The IBB participates in the Master’s and PhD programs Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS), and Cancer Stem cells & Developmental biology (CS&D) of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GS-LS). In addition, the IBB coordinates the PhD program Computational Life Sciences.