The Institute was founded in 1918, shortly after the reestablishment of Poland as an independent country.
At the beginning of the 21st century, biology is faced with the enormous task of understanding how the information of the entire genome results in the biology of the organism.
High quality of externally funded research, excellent publication record, and strong international links place the Nencki Institute among the leading biological institutions of Central and Eastern Europe.
The research goals of the Nencki Institute are to arrive at molecular, cellular and organismal explanations of excitability, movement, development, memory, learning, behaviour, ageing and death. All those tasks need to be both intellectually satisfying and relevant to problems of human well being.
Neurobiology and biochemistry represent two main research areas of the Institute. Nencki Institute is the only research centre in Poland, in which neurobiology is thoroughly studied from the molecular to the organismal level. Research projects in this field are carried out by teams belonging to the Department of Neurophysiology (10 laboratories), Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (8 laboratories), as well as Department of Biochemistry (9 laboratories). For the teams from the two latter departments neural tissue and cells are the principal models, whereas in the Department of Neurophysiology studies are also conducted on rodents, cats, social insects, and humans.
The Mission of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology is to excel in basic scientific research, maintaining the highest quality of scientific output in terms of created and disseminated knowledge, which can be applied in the context of wider societal needs to improve the quality of life.
The Institute aspires to fulfil its mission by investing in human capital, in modern technologies, and by stressing the importance of effective international collaboration.