The Institute’s mission is deeply rooted in its long history of excellence in basic scientific research, but it must be periodically revised in response to dynamically changing environment of scientific research and its economical and societal implications. Therefore at the beginning of the 21st century, termed by some “the age of biology”, the Institute’s mission and development strategy must be revaluated. The enclosed director’s note sets the context for such re-evaluation process, which should involve all the stakeholders, starting with the Institute’s research and support staff, and ending with the Institute’s Scientific Council and the Polish Academy of Sciences. [more]