The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the world’s leading research institutions; an intergovernmental organisation specialising in basic research in the life sciences with 21 member states, one prospect and two associate member states. It is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. EMBL is international, innovative and interdisciplinary. Research at EMBL emphasises experimental analysis at multiple levels of biological organisation, from the molecule to the organism, as well as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology. EMBL operates from five sites across Europe: its main laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. The cornerstones of EMBL's mission are to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods and to actively engage in technology transfer.