Named after Illinois professor of microbiology Carl R. Woese, who discovered the third domain of life, the mission of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) is to advance life science research and to stimulate bio-economic development in the state of Illinois.

The IGB was originally proposed at the dawn of the genomic era as the embodiment of a goal to centralize biological and biotechnological research at Illinois, a role it continues to fulfill today. IGB members conduct path-breaking genomic research to address societal issues in the areas of food security, energy, health, technology, and environmental conservation, and are drawn from many schools and departments including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, sociology, and business.

RESEARCH GROUPS:  Faculty and affiliate members remain an integral part of their home departments while also pursuing collaborative projects in thematic research groups at the IGB. In each research theme, the common goal of a particular grand challenge in research—developing more effective cancer therapeutics, creating more efficient and robust food and fuel crops, uncovering the origins of life—creates synergy among diverse groups of scientists. This multi-disciplinary team science work ranges from basic genomic research that expands the horizons of human knowledge, to applied research that builds on this foundational knowledge to create new technologies.

OUTREACH:  The IGB embodies its motto “Where Science Meets Society” through innovative public engagement programs and events, publications, and citizen science efforts, to ensure our work continues to be relevant and impactful and a force for positive change in the wider world. These creative outreach and education programs expose people to transformative research and how we can use genomics to help solve preeminent problems faced by local and global communities.


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