The Hubrecht Institute performs basic research in the field of developmental biology, with an emphasis on the biology of stem cells. The institute aspires to be a world leader in this field.

The institute currently ranks as one of the top institutes worldwide in the field of developmental biology and stem cell research. This is reflected by the citation impact score of around 3.0, which puts the Hubrecht at the top of the list of all institutes and universities in the Netherlands. Internationally, this score is also impressive and is comparable to the EMBL Heidelberg (2.98), Harvard (2.40), and MIT (2.45). This was also acknowledged during our last SEP-evaluation in 2014: “In the opinion of the committee, the quality of science done at the Hubrecht Institute is equal to that of the best research institutions in the world. In comparison to institutions such as the EMBL in Germany, or Stanford in the US, …”

The Hubrecht Institute aims to be a:

Center of interdisciplinary biomedical research. One of the main goals of the Hubrecht Institute is to build an interdisciplinary Institute that can tackle the most important problems in modern biology and medicine. During the last 5 years this interdisciplinary approach strengthened significantly. For example, during the last year, more than half of the top Hubrecht publications involved more than two Hubrecht groups. This demonstrates the collaborative spirit. We will continue to strengthen this aspect by recruiting complementary groups and stimulating interdisciplinary research.

Magnet for young talent. For the last five years we have been very successful in attracting young talented group leaders who started a tenure track at our institute. All these young recruits have secured an ERC Starter or Consolidator grant demonstrating that their potential is also recognized by this major funding agency.

Spring board for senior group leaders. The Hubrecht Institute has an impressive track record to deliver the scientific leaders of the future. On average one group leader per year moves on to a new position outside the Institute. Many of these positions are leadership positions (directors, head of departments).

Developing and transferring novel biomedical methods and technology. The Institute is very strong at developing new methods and transferring this knowledge to institutes and universities in the Netherlands and beyond. For example, organoid technology, single-cell sequencing, and non-invasive prenatal testing, were all developed at the Hubrecht Institute and are now implemented with our help at many other institutes and universities in the Netherlands.

Breeding ground for spin off companies. Research at the Hubrecht Institute has direct implications for translational and clinical applications. For example, the recently established Foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB) aims to use organoid technology, developed at the Hubrecht Institute, for translational and clinical applications. Another example is Cergentis, a company established in 2012, based on technology that was developed by Wouter de Laat at the Hubrecht Institute to study the fundamental question how genomic DNA is organized in 3D in the nucleus. Cergentis uses Targeted Locus Amplification (TLA) as a DNA diagnostics tool that enables high-resolution identification of genomic rearrangements. Another spin off from the Hubrecht Institute is NTrans Technologies BV, based on a technique developed by Niels Geijsen to transduce proteins, peptides, nanobodies and small oligo’s into cells.