The signature theme of Biological Structures and Systems builds on ISU’s strengths in the life sciences. Strong interdisciplinary collaborations already exist across the biological and physical sciences, with significant impact on drug development and delivery, biomass production, food production and safety, as well as human, plant and animal health. The emerging Carver Trust initiative provides a unique opportunity to build a world-leading group in structural biology. ISU’s expertise in plant biology and agricultural technology offers numerous avenues for high impact applications of new fundamental discoveries in partnership with the private sector. This theme is rich with economic, psychological, and philosophical implications, from biosafety to ethics, communications, and science policy which invite a close integration with scholars in the social sciences and humanities.