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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology is dedicated to transformative research in agriculture, human health, the environment, and energy use and production. We’re fulfilling our mission to advance life sciences research and stimulate bioeconomic development in the state of Illinois in a number of ways, including pioneering research in bioenergy, critical climate change studies, and promising work in regenerative medicine, drug development, and understanding cancer at the cellular level. The Institute was founded on the vision of converging the university’s resources and expertise to address grand challenges facing society.

It is also an excellent example of a convergence ecosystem, integrating different sub-disciplines of biology with technologies, information, and approaches from engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and the geological, atmospheric, and social sciences. It unites research and learning opportunities while attracting major research funding and high-caliber scientists and students.

The Institute was established in 2003. Construction of the $75 million, 186,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility began in April 2004, and the building was officially dedicated in March 2007. 

Research at the IGB falls under one of three broad Programmatic Areas: Systems Biology, Cellular and Metabolic Engineering, and Genome Technology. More than 130 faculty members from 30 departments across the University of Illinois are conducting research into the pressing problems that confront our society. And while we do groundbreaking research, we also understand the importance of engaging with our community and educating the next generation of scientists – more than 600 students and postdoctoral researchers also work in the IGB.


The Research Themes fall under one of three Program Areas:

  • Systems Biology
  • Cellular and Metabolic Engineering
  • Genome Technology

Features of the IGB building include:

  • Seven open, spacious labs that accommodate research, interaction, and computation
  • Fully equipped Core Facilities with the latest in microscopy, imaging, and bioanalysis
  • Tiered Computer Lab (48 seats) with individual desktop computers
  • Conference Center (seats up to 100)
  • IGB Guest Suite
  • Array Café