The institute and graduate school of Biomembranes (IB) is a unique multi-disciplinary research-training institute at the Utrecht University. Cutting edge research on biological membranes provides optimal training and infrastructure for the next generation of talented researchers and allows a strong contribution to solving societal problems by knowledge valorization. Currently the IB accommodates 16 research groups from the faculties of Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.
A brief introduction
As from the very beginning of the Institute, its scientific mission has been focussed on the following three themes: Structure, function and organization of lipids and proteins in biological membranes. The IB research focuses on membrane biogenesis, membrane trafficking, and membrane structure & dynamics.
The Institute of Biomembranes was officially inaugurated on October 4, 1991 and formally recognized by the University Board as a Research Institute in 1992. Between 1994 and 2009 the IB received 3 (re)accreditations from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and ECOS, formally recognizing the IB a Graduate School. Since January 2009, the Institute of Biomembranes offers the PhD program “Biomembranes’ of the Graduate School of Life Sciences at Utrecht University.
Prof. dr. Arie Verkleij (Cell Biology, Biology, UU) has been Scientific Director since the inauguration of the IB in 1991. Prof. dr. Gerrit van Meer (Membrane Enzymology, Chemistry, UU) succeeded Prof. Verkleij. as Scientific Director of the IB in November 2004. In February 2010, Prof.dr. Bernd Helms (Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Veterinary Medicine, picture right) is the successor of Prof. dr. Gerrit van Meer and was appointed Program Director of the PhD program Biomembranes.