Profile of the Institute Biology Leiden
The Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) is an international institute for research and education in biology and is part of the Faculty of Science at Leiden University. Our aim is to perform top quality research and to maintain outstanding BSc and MSc teaching programmes in close relationship to current investigations. The Institute is organized in two research programmes: Molecular Biosciences and Evolutionary Biosciences. The IBL represents the core of modern biological research at Leiden but it closely interacts with the other life science oriented institutes in the faculty such as the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC), the Leiden Advanced Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) and the Institute for Environmental Sciences (CML). It also collaborates with the Leiden based National Centre for Biodiversity (NCB-Naturalis, home to all biological collections in the Netherlands) and with the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). We distinguish ourselves by multidisciplinary fundamental and applied research using a selection of model organisms and attention to evolutionary processes and the role of the environment in biological processes.
- Masters of Molecules
The IBL-theme of Molecular BioSciences (MBS) concerns the study of molecular mechanisms underlying the various forms of life. We investigate molecular functioning of cells, explore and develop applications for biotechnology, and contribute to fighting diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis. Research questions are typically tackled by a multidisciplinary approach including molecular genetics, genomics, microbiology, cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry and cell physiology including electrophysiology. We exploit recent advances in gene and genomics technology and confocal laser scanning microscopy which enables the study of molecules in living cells and multi-cellular organisms in an unprecedented detail.
- Experts on Evolution
The IBL-theme of Evolutionary BioSciences (EBS) concerns a broad range of research on the processes that contribute to the origin and maintenance of the diversity of life. We study organisms and their traits to achieve fundamental insights and to apply our findings, where possible, to societal and economic needs. Studies extend, therefore, from the curiosity-driven through to those of direct application to our society and involve the disciplines of behavioral biology, evolutionary biology, integrative zoology, plant ecology and phytochemistry. Our investigations cover observations and experiments in the field and in the laboratory. The EBS programme puts increasing emphasis on the molecular and organismal level and the processes underlying the development, functioning and plasticity of organisms. Plants, fish, birds and insects are studied, using advanced technologies.
- Strong network of collaborators
The IBL researchers are embedded in strong national networks of collaborators, with international contacts all over the world. Apart from collaborating with various institutes at Leiden University, we participate in several national research schools such as Biotechnological Sciences Delft Leiden, Experimental Plant Sciences, and Functional Ecology. We are also part of major research consortia including the Leiden-based Cell Observatory, the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, the SenterNovem Smart Mix programme, and the Technological Top Institute Green Genetics.
- Welcome to research fellows and students
The IBL provides an ideal environment for research fellows, and students that are interested in BSc- or MSc-programmes in biology. The BSc-programme concerns a solid three-year education in Biology, continuously upgraded to the modern standards of today, covering all essential disciplines from cell biology and genetics to ecology and evolution. There are two major MSc-programmes: Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation and Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. The IBL is ready to provide you the opportunity to get a top education and to provide the challenge to make a career in Biology through Leiden University (Check out the Graduate school website). International students interested in more information can also contact the Educational Office or the International Office.
The Academy Building at Rapenburg 67-73, historical venue for IBL-student graduation ceremonies, thesis defenses of IBL-PhD-students and inaugural lectures of IBL-professors.
- History of Biology in Leiden
Biology at Leiden University has an uninterrupted history of research for 425 years. Soon after the foundation of the University in 1575, Carolus Clusius was appointed at Leiden to teach botany and to establish a botanical garden, which still exists in Leiden today. The famous zoologist Cornelis Jacob van der Klaauw (1893-1972) also spent most of his active career in Leiden and became co-founder of the Royal Museum of the History of Natural and Exact Sciences in 1928, which is now better known as the Boerhaave Museum. Niko Tinbergen, one of the founders of the study of animal behaviour and as such Nobel Prize recipient in 1973, also began his career at Leiden with his famous experiments on sticklebacks and herring gulls. While the different biology groups were scattered over Leiden for a long time, the Institute became united in July 2009 with state-of-the-art facilities for research and teaching in the completely refurbished Sylvius Laboratory.
Completely renovated Sylvius building, the new unilocation of IBL