People make science happen.

Josef PenningerFounding Director of IMBA

Who we are

IMBA is an academic research institute that conducts basic research in the areas of molecular biology and medicine. We are located in the Vienna BioCenter, a dynamic cluster of research institutes, universities and biotech companies, in the heart of Europe.

IMBA fosters creativity. All our scientists - from established, world-class experts to promising, new talents - follow their visions with the utmost financial and technical support. These resources give our scientists the freedom to develop new approaches, design innovative technologies, create novel model systems – and make groundbreaking discoveries.

IMBA especially helps our young scientists on their path towards excellence in research. Key assets of IMBA include an outstanding infrastructure, a world-renowned team of interdisciplinary scientists, and a vibrant and synergistic environment in one of the world´s top-ranked places to work and live.

"IMBA is defined by its diversity and intellectual freedom."


Daniel Gerlich, Senior Scientist

What we do

Our fifteen different research groups aim to decipher molecular processes in cells: the fields of research comprise molecular and cell biology, stem cell and organoid research, small RNA biology, neurobiology, disease modelling and epigenetics. All researchers at IMBA benefit from a unique infrastructure with state-of-the-art technologies and various research facilities (including microscopy, bioinformatics, sequencing) offered at the Vienna BioCenter. 

"IMBA is a playground for multiple disciplines."


Ulrich Elling, Junior Group Leader

Stem cell research and the modelling of diseases using human organoids are one of the focal points in IMBA's research portfolio. The following film highlights the impact of this emerging research field.

IMBA Impact Film

Why we do what we do

Curiosity, passion for knowledge, academic freedom, and pioneer spirit drive us to answer outstanding questions, make novel discoveries, and even launch completely new fields of research. At IMBA, scientists aim to solve unsettled issues in molecular biology that have not only scientific but also societal implications, and that bear the potential for cutting-edge technologies. Basic research is a key driver of innovations, paving the way for the development of novel therapies and strategies to tackle public health challenges like infertility, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegeneration, and aging.

"Only when we get to the bottom of all questions, and try the impossible in research, will we understand the mechanisms of living systems and their malfunctions holistically. Only then we will be able to cure."


Josef Penninger, Founding Director