Institute for Basic Science (IBS)

South Korea

IBS was established in 2011 aiming at advancing the frontiers of knowledge and fostering leading scientists of tomorrow by pursuing excellence in basic science research. Since then, IBS has been providing infrastructure for long-term, large-scale, and group research as well as supporting autonomous research activities of researchers, focusing on exploration of creative knowledge. In 2018, IBS had moved to its new building in Daejeon, South Korea. Watch the tour video of our headquarters and some of our research centers.

As a basic science research institute representing Korea, IBS is running 30 Centers in physics, chemistry, mathematics, life sciences, and interdisciplinary areas as of January 2020 and planning to increase the number to 50. IBS has announced 2020 call for applications for IBS Research Center Directors and Chief Investigators. Applications will be accepted until February 29, 2020. For more information, please visit

The institute’s main philosophy is to select a world renowned scientist as a Center’s director and create an environment where the director can concentrate on his/her own creative research. That is because IBS believes that creativity can be maximized when excellent researchers focus on conducting challenging research in an autonomous research environment.

IBS has been generating research outcomes that attract world-wide attention and was named one of Nature Index Rising Stars 2016. Despite a short history, the institute is standing shoulder to shoulder with international basic science research institutes. With the 2018 completion of its new headquarters designated as an urban science park, IBS will maximize merits of group and interdisciplinary research as well as bring IBS’ research capabilities together. It will more actively recruit young researchers at home and abroad with its expansion, heralding an even brighter future.

Since 2016, IBS has been operating Young Scientists Fellowship (YSF) under the slogan ‘Initiate your own research at IBS. In order to intensify its support to grow the next-generation leaders of scientific investigators, IBS has been launching a new research unit called Pioneer Research Centers (PRC), a subset of the existing IBS HQ Centers since early 2019. PRCs consist of up to five Chief Investigators (CIs) each. A CI leads their own research group to pioneer new fields and focus on challenging research in the basic sciences. CIs are required to have scientific excellence equivalent to that of a principle investigator at a globally renowned research institute or to have great potential to reach the aforementioned level in the near future. IBS will continue its efforts to become a research hub where young scientists can devote themselves to their science with full autonomy and independence.

The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) retains sole responsibility for content © 2020 Institute for Basic Science (IBS).

1 May 2019 - 30 April 2020

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Institute for Basic Science (IBS) published between 1 May 2019 - 30 April 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
340 89.06

Outputs by subject (Share)

Subject Count Share
Chemistry 146 38.68
Life Sciences 49 14.30
1 0.02
1 0.10
2 0.18
1 0.45
1 0.33
3 0.44
1 0.15
1 0.46
17 5.14
1 0.17
1 0.01
2 0.48
5 2.12
1 0.19
6 1.46
1 0.30
4 2.29
Physical Sciences 192 47.16
Earth & Environmental Sciences 18 3.56

Highlight of the month

Nanoparticles exploit weakness in cancer cells’ waste-management system

© Stocktrek Images/Getty

© Stocktrek Images/Getty

Nanoparticles covered with both positively and negatively charged groups are effective at targeting lysosomes in cancer cells while having minimal effect on those in healthy cells.

Lysosomes are the cell’s garbage-disposal system, breaking up unwanted and damaged cellular components. They are attractive targets for fighting cancer because even tumour cells that are resistant to other drugs should succumb to an assault on their lysosomes. But previous approaches to disrupt lysosomes in cancer cells inflicted collateral damage on healthy cells.

Now, a team of researchers, all at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea, has found that nanoparticles coated with an optimal mix of positive and negative groups targeted lysosomes in thirteen types of cancer cells while leaving those in healthy cells relatively unscathed.

The mixed-charge nanoparticles aggregate into crystals in cancer cells and eventually destroy the lysosomes, whereas they don’t tend to aggregate in healthy cells.

The team intends to test whether the nanoparticles are effective against tumours in animal models.

Supported content

  1. Nature Nanotechnology 15, 331–341 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41565-020-0643-3

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Institute for Basic Science (IBS)

More research highlights from Institute for Basic Science (IBS)

1 May 2019 - 30 April 2020

International vs. domestic collaboration by Share

  • 54.64% Domestic
  • 45.36% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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