The main laboratory in Heidelberg was inaugurated in 1978 as the first EMBL facility dedicated to basic molecular biology research, technology development, service provision and advanced training.
Research at EMBL Heidelberg
Today more than 800 staff members work at EMBL Heidelberg, in services and administration, and across five research units:
- Cell Biology and Biophysics
- Developmental Biology
- Genome Biology
- Structural and Computational Biology
- Directors' Research
Technology and services
Research at EMBL is supported by the development of enabling technologies that are made available to the scientific community in its Core Facilities, eight of which are located at EMBL Heidlberg.
Many scientific breakthroughs have been made at EMBL Heidelberg, including two which have been recognized with Nobel Prizes. Jacques Dubochet was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017, for using vitrified water to prepare biological samples for electron microscopy, a technique that is still at the heart of cryo-electron microscopy. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Erich Wieschaus conducted the first systematic genetic analysis of embryonic development in the fruit fly, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1995.
Heidelberg is the largest centre for biomedical research in Germany and home to the oldest German university, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.
Many bilateral links between scientists at EMBL and other Heidelberg research institutions have been established. In addition to bilateral collaborations, EMBL participates in several larger projects:
- Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit – a pilot project established in 2002 with the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg.
- BioMS (bio modeling and simulations) - in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research, and the European Media Lab (EML Research)
- joint Chemical Biology Core Facility for small molecule screening – established together with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in 2004.