Understanding life, improving health

Our mission is to advance the understanding of the fundamental processes of life, and to pioneer new ideas to improve human health.

What sets the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute apart is a unique culture and environment, embedded within one of the nation’s leading public research universities.

Our Science

Studies in model organisms, like fruit flies (fly neurons shown above), offer new insights into fundamental biology.

Our world-class faculty members have broad and diverse expertise — ranging from cell biology to medicine, from chemistry to structural biology. And the LSI provides them with a research home purposefully designed to foster creative risk taking, interdisciplinary collaboration and professional growth.

Our approach is to provide superior scientific tools and administrative support, allowing each faculty member to spend more time focused on what really matters — their research.

We stand apart from peer organizations in being simultaneously a small, nimble research institute as well as an integral piece of the bioscience powerhouse that is the University of Michigan — which ranks No. 3 among U.S. universities for National Institutes of Health funding.

We have strong connections to the broader life sciences community across U-M. Our faculty members hold joint appointments both at the LSI, where their labs are located, and within departments at the U-M Medical School, School of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

And even though discovery science is our primary focus, many of our researchers are also working to help translate their biological insights into new medicines and treatments — in areas including cancer, neurological disorders, obesity and metabolic disease, and viral and bacterial infections.

Our Facility

Housed in Mary Sue Coleman Hall, the LSI sits at the nexus between the main campus and the medical campus.

Established by the U-M Board of Regents in 1999, we opened the doors of our 230,000-square-foot building in 2003. In 2021, the building was renamed Mary Sue Coleman Hall in honor of U-M President Emerita Coleman.

The LSI is outfitted with open, interconnected laboratories to allow for maximum cross-pollination of ideas. The facility is home to an advanced high-throughput screening facility, as well as ​a ​​comprehensive ​​cloning ​​and ​​macromolecular ​​X-ray crystallography​ center. Both are open to investigators from across the campus and beyond. The LSI also houses a world-class cryo-electron microscopy laboratory. We also administrate campuswide programs like the U-M Program in Chemical BiologyMichigan Drug Discovery and the Michigan Pioneer Fellows.

Our Students & Trainees

At any given time, more than 100 trainees are working in LSI labs.

We are committed to attentive mentorship of our junior faculty, postdocs and students, and to creating a climate for success that embraces everyone in our community.

At any given time, about 150 undergraduate and graduate students are working at the LSI and making meaningful contributions to the institute’s discoveries. And 50 postdoctoral research fellows are preparing to launch independent careers.

Our alumni have gone on to coveted positions in both academia and industry: Baylor, Purdue, Case Western, University of Washington, University of Michigan, MIT, Peking University, the Mayo Clinic, Genentech, AbbVie — to name just a handful.

For more than a decade, we’ve run an immersive summer fellowship program for undergraduate students from across the state. And more recently, we’ve increased our outreach to high school students in an effort to grow and diversify the future bioscience research pipeline.

Our goal is to train not just the next generation of scientists, but the next generation of scientific leaders.

LSI By the Numbers

Principal Faculty Members
Annual Research Revenue
Academic Departments Across Campus Where Faculty Hold Joint Appointments
National Academy of Medicine Members
National Academy of Sciences Members
American Academy of Arts & Sciences Members