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About the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

About SILS

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the largest institutes of the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). 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. We have four underpinning technologies that focus on mass spectrometry, genomics and transcriptomics, advanced data analysis and advanced microscopy. Knowledge from adjacent fields of science, in particular biochemistry, biophysics, medicine, bioinformatics, statistics and information technology make SILS a multidisciplinary research institute focussing on the broad research field of life sciences.

SILS’ research objective is to understand the functioning of living organisms, from the most basic aspects up to complex physiological functions. Biological processes are studied at the level of molecules, cells, cellular networks and organisms, and the interactions between and in all those levels. Within the institute, this leads to exchange of information and extension of research over the borders of different disciplines. Part of SILS research activities happen in close collaboration with industry.

Our staff is highly involved in teaching various Bachelor and Master programmes in the fields of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences and Earth and Environmental Sciences, and contributes to organising and supervising a large amount of student projects in our labs.

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 18 research groups and four underpinning technologies. 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 €22 million, of which almost 35 percent comes from external funding. Scientific output consists of around 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books per year. Annually approximately 20 PhD candidates defend their thesis and obtain their doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam.