Bioscience: the science base of health

We hone in on the fundamental details of life.

Recent developments in life sciences have created exciting possibilities for fundamental research as well as clinical applications. Knowledge about the genome of humans and model organisms, and techniques to manipulate genes and their expression allow for an unprecedented degree of control over biological processes, yielding new insights into the working mechanisms of cells, organs and organisms. Powerful new imaging techniques, both at macroscopic, microscopic and sub-cellular level, make it possible to track key processes and substances (biomarkers) over time.

Thanks to the developments in bio-informatics, the huge data sets gathered in these and other experiments become a source of new insights, adding an ‘in silico’ dimension to the in vitro and in vivo research. Leiden University is wellplaced to explore and develop these new possibilities. The expertise within the Science Faculty on diverse subjects, ranging from mathematics to biology and chemistry and physics guarantees a sound basis for co-operation with fundamental and applied research within the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). There is a strong interaction between groups working on molecules and cells with (bio)medical and epidemiological researchers. The LUMC has invested in translational research, to ensure that new developments in the laboratory will find their way into clinical applications. The main focus in this area is on understanding mechanisms of disease and working towards ‘personalised medicine’, using genetic and other profiles to tailor prevention and treatment to the individual patient.

Three themes dominate this research area: imaging, molecular profiling and chemical biology. Both the Faculty of Science and the LUMC have invested in the most advanced technologies available in these fields today. The 7 Tesla human MRI facility at the LUMC, for instance, has opened up new dimensions in clinical research. The Science Faculty has invested in the Cell Observatory that brings together a great number of distinguished scientists from different institutes around cutting-edge bio-imaging technology to study the dynamic cell. There are several state of the art facilities to study genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Also, at the personal level, investigators with a high international standing and talented young researchers are working together to contribute to the future of both the life sciences and medical science.


  • Jaap Brouwer, Professor of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Science
  • Prof.dr. H.J. Tanke, Leiden University Medical Center

Participating Faculties
  • Faculty of Science
  • Leiden University Medical Center

Last Modified: 11-04-2014