Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity

“Deciphering Biological Mechanisms of Health and Disease”


Our mission is to decipher fundamental principles that regulate dynamic biological processes. As a part of the focus area Life Sciences, we perform interdisciplinary research that combines biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics to understand living systems at different organization levels from individual molecules, such as DNA, lipids and proteins, to cells and model organisms. Through close interaction between experimentation, theory and simulation, we aim to achieve a systems-level understanding of complex dynamic processes and their evolution.

Studies in different model systems – ranging from membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, and division of animal cells, to the development of microbial colonies, embryos, brain and immune system – are connected by common experimental techniques, such as advanced live cell imaging and computational approaches. The goal of the institute is to elucidate the evolutionary steps, mechanisms and principles that underlie complex, dynamic biological processes and to contribute to developing therapies for cancer, infectious, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases as well as biotechnological innovation.


Research at the IBB (Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity) spans a wide range of topics, broadly organized into 3 themes -Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, and Developmental Biology. The IBB comprises independent research groups led by faculty at a junior (Assistant Professor) and senior (Associate Professor and Professor) level. The IBB incorporates four core facilities – Large-Particle Flow Cytometry Facility, Biology Imaging Center, Nanobody Platform and Protein Interactions and Network Analysis – and provides cutting edge services to the members of the IBB and external users.

Embedding in the UU research infrastructure

Both at the experimental and theoretical level, IBB has strong connections with research groups at the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Medical Center, the Dutch Primate Center BPRC, and the Hubrecht Institute. The collaborative activities cover a broad range of topics and methodologies, including cancer research, immunology, neuroscience, advanced microscopy, genomics, mass spectrometry and structural biology. The Biology Imaging Center forms part of Bioimaging Utrecht, which brings together microscopy-based research within the UU and tightly collaborates with cellular imaging groups on exchanging expertise and providing access to advanced microscopy. The IBB participates in the Master’s and PhD programs Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS), and Cancer Stem cells & Developmental biology (CS&D) of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GS-LS). In addition, IBB coordinates the PhD program Computational Life Sciences (GS-LS).

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