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About the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

About SILS

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is the largest institute of the Faculty of Science. The institute comprises biological disciplines including molecular and cell biology, microbiology, plant science, physiology and neurobiology, supported by modern enabling technologies for the life sciences. The research groups of SILS also develop methods in genomics (micro-array, next-gen sequencing, proteomics), bioinformatics and advanced light microscopy technologies. Knowledge from adjacent fields of science, in particular biochemistry, biophysics, medicine, bioinformatics, statistics and information technology make SILS a multidisciplinary research institute with a systems biology approach to the life sciences.

SILS’ research objective is to understand the functioning of living organisms, from the most basic aspects up to complex physiological function(s). Biological processes are studied at the level of molecules, cells, cellular networks and organisms. SILS research topics have in common that similar cellular processes and interactions are studied, likewise using similar methodologies and technologies. Therefore SILS scientists often study the same concepts in different biological systems. Within the institute, this leads to exchange of information and extension of research over the borders of different disciplines. Part of SILS research activities are directed to application-oriented research in close collaboration with industry.


SILS research groups

Facts and figures

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is a multidisciplinary research institute that was established in 2000. SILS is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science (see introduction movie  Researchers at the Faculty of Science) of the University of Amsterdam. The institute brings together approximately 240 researchers in 16 research groups and several expertise centres. Next to research SILS personnel is involved in teaching an increasing number of bachelor and master students. Furthermore, SILS hosts the directors of the largest Life Science programmes Psychobiology and Biomedical Sciences (bachelor and master level) and the director of the Graduate School Earth and Life Sciences. The total annual budget is around € 20 million, of which almost 30 percent comes from external funding. Scientific output consists of around 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books per year. Annually approximately 18 PhD candidates defend their thesis and obtain their doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam. 


Movie: De Bèta-betekenis

By Mart van Busken and Bob van Gijzel.

The movie is made for the opening of the Faculty of Science building (Science Park) on November 24, 2010


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