SILS research focusses 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. The researchers integrate research on gene expression, the structure of DNA molecules and chromatin, protein-protein interactions, protein structure-function relations and signal transduction processes, as they take place in man, animal, plant and micro-organism. Within the institute, this leads to a fruitful exchange of knowledge between different disciplines. SILS consists of four main research themes:
The Research Theme 'Cell & Systems Biology' focuses on the chain of events all the way from modulation of gene expression up to the resulting phenotype in cells.
Research in Green Life Sciences aims at understanding at the molecular level how plants deal with biotic and abiotic constraints, how they interact with insects (herbivores, pollinators), microbes and other organisms and how they diversified during evolution.
The Microbiology theme studies the molecular mechanisms involved in the processes, works on techniques to prevent microbial pathogens, and develops novel ways to employ microbes for biotechnological applications.
The mission of the Neurosciences collaboration is to understand the fundamental mechanisms that underlie development and synaptic and structural plasticity of the brain as well as information processing.