|The International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw (IIMCB), established in 1999, is one of Poland’s most modern research institutes in the life sciences, holding the highest scientific category (A+) based on a parametric evaluation of research entities in Poland by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Institute was created with the support of the Polish Government, Polish Academy of Sciences and UNESCO, based on a separate parliamentary bill.
The main goals of IIMCB are to perform high-quality research in molecular biomedicine and to create the best possible conditions for ambitious, motivated group leaders and their staff to implement modern biotechnology and teach and popularize molecular biology and medicine. Research field at IIMCB cover a wide range of topics, including structural biology, molecular and cell biology, neurobiology, cancer biology, bioinformatics, computer modeling, iron homeostasis, developmental genomics (zebrafish model), ageing, and neurodegeneration. Nine high-profile research groups and one partner laboratory comprise the present structure of IIMCB.
The international character of IIMCB is strongly reflected by all aspects of its functioning. All positions of laboratory leaders are filled through open international competitions, and successful candidates are selected by the International Advisory Board (IAB), a body that is unique to Polish research institutions that consists of renowned scientists and science managers. The IAB ensures that the Group Leaders’ selection process maintains full objectivity. International Advisory Board members also consult on the steering and functioning of the Institute.
IIMCB has close scientific collaborations with world-renowned foreign research centers, such as the Max Planck Society (MPS). Under this strategic partnership, four laboratories were established with double MPS and IIMCB affiliations: two laboratories at IIMCB and two laboratories at MPS Institutes. IIMCB also boasts cooperation with national research centers, including the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology at the University of Gdańsk/Medical University of Gdańsk, Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS in Warsaw, and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
IIMCB actively collaborates with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, to develop new therapies in oncology and neurology and biotechnological products. Measures that are implemented by IIMCB to commercialize its inventions and serve as a resource for industrial partners are continually adapted to scientific output and the needs and expectations of commercial partners. The most advanced implementations of the research results to business practice: Auresine, Futurenzymes, and PRO Biostructures.
IIMCB is also engaged in science popularization initiatives to increase awareness and interest in the life sciences among the general public. The Center for Innovative Bioscience Education (BioCEN), an initiative that is supported by IIMCB, regularly hosts workshops with hands-on experiments and is engaged in science popularization events.
Each year the Institute receives state subventions (from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Polish Academy of Sciences). However, 70% of IIMCB’s annual budget comes from external grants received on competitive basis from international sources (EU FP5-H2020, EMBO, Wellcome Trust, HHMI, NIH, etc.), EU Structural Funds and national agencies (FNP, NCN, NCBR, MNiSW).