According to the law from 1990, one of the main objectives of the Institute is basic research in Biology and Medicine of animals and humans.
The predominant research activity is on animal diseases, their prevention and containment. This includes diseases of both terrestrial and aquatic animals.
Many disciplines and methodologies are utilized in the research, i.e.: prionology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, pathology, immunology, biochemistry and molecular biology.
The institute has created a unique postition due to expertise and the disease status in Iceland that is well registered. Due to the geographical isolation of the country there are well defined animal breeds that have different sensitivity to several diseases than other breeds. Due to the relatively small size of the country, well defined health system and control of production, there is a unique possibility for epidemiologcial research. Research on such material has given the institute an unique position.
Collaboration with other institutions both in Iceland and abroad is an important element in the Institute’s research activities.
Research is financed by national and foreign grants.
Both animal husbandry and general farming are conducted at the Institute in connection with the research.