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About the IGB

With faculty from over 40 departments on campus, the IGB is continually looking to involve new members to work in our multidisciplinary research themes, especially early career professors who can scale their involvement to fit the needs of building their own lab while still reaping the benefits of being an IGB member.


IGB Factsheet
Download the factsheet to learn more about IGB





Propose a new theme
New themes may be proposed at any time, by any member on campus, through the instructions provided in the IGB Theme Proposal Whitepaper

IGB Theme Proposal Whitepaper




Contact us with any questions about becoming more involved with the IGB


Frequency Asked Questions

Can I join the IGB?

The IGB is a life sciences institute, but we do not limit our membership to faculty in the life sciences. We have members from such Colleges as Engineering, Law, Education, and from departments including Geology, Physics, Psychology, and many more. Any faculty member is welcome to join the IGB, usually by first identifying a research theme of interest and subsequently speaking with that theme leader or the IGB Director. Many faculty begin a career with the IGB as an affiliate member in a theme and diversify as their research progresses. 

Am I limited to working with only one theme?

Not at all. Some IGB faculty are solely in one theme, while others are housed in multiple themes. Due to the team science environment, members of IGB themes are constantly working with each other regardless of theme membership or home department.

Can I talk to a theme leader? What about the IGB Director?

Yes – contact us directly by emailing and we will facilitate requests to speak with theme leaders, or to schedule a meeting with Dr. Gene Robinson, Director of the IGB. Dr. Robinson especially welcomes the opportunity to meet with new faculty interested in the IGB.

How will this benefit my career as an Illinois faculty?

There are numerous beneficial aspects to being an IGB member, including collaboration network-building with faculty from across campus, mentorship from senior faculty outside your home department, access to new training and equipment through the IGB’s microscopy suite, and opportunities for proposal and manuscript reviews, to name a few. 

What if I don’t work in genomics?

The beauty of genomics is that it is an incredibly diverse field, with applications that address research questions in diverse areas of life sciences, as well as everything from humanities, law enforcement, engineering, computer science – you name it. Our institute thrives on team science approaches to grand societal challenges, and is inclusive of research in all forms.

I’ve heard the IGB is big on public engagement. How do I become involved?

The IGB prides itself on our creative outreach and engagement programs and we are very enthusiastic about growing our efforts. Anyone on campus can add to our engagement portfolio by volunteering to work at outreach events, develop activities, nominate staff or student ambassadors, or speak to school groups. Furthermore, the experienced and knowledgeable IGB outreach staff members can provide guidance through established procedures to more easily fulfill the public engagement requirements now expected of many campus faculty.

What kind of support is there for me at the IGB?

The IGB’s wide and varied community encourages collaboration and cross-discipline support on science and research endeavors, allowing access to senior faculty for mentorship and partnership. Grant and proposal support for team science proposals submitted through the IGB Business Office is provided through the combined efforts of the IGB Business, IT and Communications offices, and a project manager with editorial and graphic resources. IGB science writers are available to create press releases on emerging research, events staff can assist with the planning and execution of seminars or symposia, and the Core Facilities microscopy suite will train in the use of new equipment, help design experiments, and interpret the resulting data.

The IGB is a dynamic and adaptive institute with significant opportunities for involvement with new faculty from across campus. Reach out to us at to learn what possibilities exist.

How do I start a theme?

The mission of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) is to advance life sciences research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and to stimulate bio-economic development in the State of Illinois. Its near-term strategic objective is to identify and promote the development of innovative research themes that will capitalize on the recent advances in genome science and technology. A brief description of the infrastructure available to support the IGB thematic research activities and the detailed procedures for submitting thematic research white papers can be found at the link below. The intent of the white paper process is to identify and facilitate development of the IGB research themes.

New themes may be proposed at any time, by any member on campus, through the instructions provided in the IGB Theme Proposal Whitepaper.