The Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (IMPB) is a part of the Department of Biology and was founded in February 2017. It is the center of research and teaching of fundamental and applied plant biology at ETH Zurich.
Plants are critically important and dominate our ecosystems. Through photosynthesis, plants serve as the primary producers in natural and agricultural settings and support most other life forms, either directly or indirectly. Society depends on plants as sources of healthy, nutritious food, of sustainable materials and fuels, and of medicinal compounds. It is therefore vital we understand their biosynthetic processes. Being sessile, plants cannot escape their environment and need to perceive and responding to the world around; they are often challenged by stresses such as disease or man-made climate change that can limit their growth and decrease crop productivity.
The goals of IMPB are to study the unique features of plants and their environmental interactions. We also use plants as tractable experimental systems to study fundamental cellular processes. Research on plants has resulted in paradigm-changing discoveries with significance across the whole of biology and direct applications in agriculture.
At IMPB, we use state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary approaches in our research, including molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology and systems biology, and we apply important discoveries through agricultural biotechnology. We teach courses on plant biology at all levels to our Biology bachelor- and masters- students and contribute to the teaching curricula of other departments.