Biological research has proven a fertile source of discovery and innovation, contributing to improve human health. A comprehensive understanding of complex biological systems has come within reach through technological advances in quantitative analyses and experimental perturbations, combined with computational methods that enable the interpretation of multidimensional datasets. The transformation of biology from a descriptive to a quantitative science allows scientists to discover novel regulatory principles, mimic disease processes and shed light on unmet medical needs.

FMI scientists take advantage of the latest advances in biological research to pursue their mission of understanding the fundamental mechanisms of health and disease. The institute’s research efforts focus on three areas, which have evolved over time. For each research area, the approaches and goals are the same: our scientists investigate how information across different scales – from molecules to tissues – is integrated and regulated, and how perturbations lead to disease.

Genome Regulation: from sequence to structure and function

To gain insights into the relationship between genotype, phenotype and disease, FMI scientists work to understand genome output by molecularly defining the control of gene expression and of RNA and protein stability. The resulting quantitative understanding is critical to comprehend impact and diagnostic potential of genetic variation for personalized health and to explore novel pathways for intervention.

» FMI Genome Regulation groups

Multicellular Systems: from single cells to organs

By studying multicellular systems, FMI scientists identify molecular and cellular mechanisms by which tissues, organs and organisms are assembled, preserved or destabilized. Advanced model systems will permit molecular phenotyping, and comprehensive and targeted perturbation. This approach will help to understand how healthy and pathological states develop and how tissues regenerate. It will also open up new avenues for instructing these processes in disease.

» FMI Multicellular Systems groups

Neurobiology: from neurons to neuronal circuits to system-wide networks

To investigate the neurobiological basis of essential brain functions such as perception, emotions, cognition, learning, and behavior, FMI scientists study the development and function of neuronal circuits using cutting-edge molecular and imaging technology and computational approaches. Integrating different levels of analysis, from local circuits to brain-wide networks, will lead to fundamental mechanistic insights into the neuronal basis of physiological and pathological brain states. These insights have enormous potential for diagnosing and treating psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions.

» FMI Neurobiology groups