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European Molecular Biology Organization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
PurposePromote life science research in Europe and beyond
HeadquartersHeidelberg, Germany
1,800 members[1]
Fiona Watt[2]
Key people

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) is a professional, non-profit organization of more than 1,800 life scientists.[1] Its goal is to promote research in life science and enable international exchange between scientists. It co-funds courses, workshops and conferences, publishes five scientific journals and supports individual scientists. The organization was founded in 1964[3][4] and is a founding member of the Initiative for Science in Europe. As of 2022 the Director of EMBO is Fiona Watt, a stem cell researcher, professor at King's College London and a group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Conferences and journals[edit]

EMBO funds or co-funds over 90 meetings involving more than 11,000 participants every year.[5]

EMBO publishes five peer-reviewed scientific journals: The EMBO Journal,[6] EMBO Reports,[7] Molecular Systems Biology,[8] EMBO Molecular Medicine,[9] and Life Science Alliance,[10]


The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) was launched in July 1964 after a group of European biologists had discussed the idea earlier at a meeting in Ravello.[4][11] The initial goals of EMBO consisted of creating a central European laboratory for life sciences and increasing scientific interactions between researchers in Europe.[11] At the Ravello meeting, Max Perutz was elected as the first EMBO chairman and John Kendrew as secretary general.[11]

Initially, 140 biologists were elected EMBO members and in 1969, the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) was set up as a political body with 14 countries as initial members.[11][12] Since 1964, scientists have been elected annually as members of EMBO based on excellence in research.[13][1] There are currently more than 1,800 Members of the European Molecular Biology Organization, 90 of whom have received the Nobel Prize.[14] As of 2018, the EMBC has 30 member states, two associate member states (India, Singapore) and two co-operation partners (Chile (CONICYT), Taiwan (MOST and Academia Sinica)).[15]

In 1982, the EMBO Journal was launched, in 1986, the EMBO Gold Medal, an annual award for young scientists, was established. The "Young Investigator Program" which awards grants to young professors was established in 2000 and four additional journals were launched in 2000 (EMBO Reports), 2005 (Molecular Systems Biology), 2008 (EMBO Molecular Medicine) and 2019 (Life Science Alliance). Life Science Alliance is co-published with Rockefeller University Press and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. In 2022, Fiona Watt was appointed sixth director of EMBO succeeding the previous EMBO Directors Raymond Appleyard, John Tooze, Frank Gannon, Hermann Bujard and Maria Leptin.

In 2011, EMBO established a Policy Programme which interacts with policymakers and provides analysis of concerns emerging from advances in scientific research.[4]

Closely affiliated organisations to EMBO include the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) which like EMBO, primarily operate in the European Research Area (ERA).


  1. ^ a b c Anon (2021). "EMBO Members and Young Investigators". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  2. ^ a b c Anon (2021). "Leadership and governance". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. ^ Ferry, Georgina (2014). "History: Fifty years of EMBO". Nature. 511 (7508). London: 150–151. doi:10.1038/511150a. PMID 25013879.
  4. ^ a b c Ferry, Georgina (2014). EMBO in perspective: a half-century in the life sciences (PDF). Heidelberg: European Molecular Biology Organization. p. 145. ISBN 978-3-00-046271-9. OCLC 892947326.
  5. ^ Anon (2020). "EMBO facts & figures 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  6. ^ Rørth, Pernille (2005). "Authors, reviewers and editors at the EMBO Journal". The EMBO Journal. 24 (22): 3831–3833. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600851. PMC 1283950. PMID 16453402.
  7. ^ Gannon, Frank (2000). "A new journal-in more than one way". EMBO Reports. 1: 1. doi:10.1093/embo-reports/kvd007. PMC 1083683.
  8. ^ Aebersold, Ruedi (2005). "Molecular Systems Biology: A new journal for a new biology?". Molecular Systems Biology. 1: E1–E2. doi:10.1038/msb4100009. PMC 1681461. PMID 19444219.
  9. ^ Caldeira, Sandra (2009). "Welcome to EMBO Molecular Medicine!". EMBO Molecular Medicine. 1 (1): 1. doi:10.1002/emmm.200900010. PMC 3378109. PMID 20049694.
  10. ^ Leibfried, Andrea (2017). "Introducing Life Science Alliance". Life Science Alliance. 1 (1): 1. doi:10.26508/lsa.201700001. PMC 6246890. PMID 30506044.
  11. ^ a b c d Anon (2021). "History". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  12. ^ Tooze, John (1986). "The Role of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) in European Molecular Biology (1970-1983)". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 29 (3–2): S38–S46. doi:10.1353/pbm.1986.0017. PMID 3725553. S2CID 40080685.
  13. ^ Nurse, Paul (2014). "EMBO at 50". Science. 343 (6167). Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science: 117. Bibcode:2014Sci...343..117N. doi:10.1126/science.1247701. PMID 24408402.
  14. ^ Anon (2021). "EMBO Nobel Laureates". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  15. ^ Anon (2021). "The European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC)". Retrieved 2021-04-28.