The Robert Koch Institute is Germany's national public health institute. It aims to protect the population from disease and improve their health. 1,300 people from 90 different professions work and perform research together at the Institute to achieve these aims. At the RKI, disease and health are studied at all levels: from viruses in cells to obesity in the population. Scientists at the Institute collect data on non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer, infectious diseases and (new) biological hazards. Based on this information, the RKI develops guidelines and prevention concepts. Its work takes a two-pillared approach: conducting research that provides data for decision-making and giving independent, reliable advice to the expert community, in particular the public health sector and politicians in Germany. Beyond that the RKI supports partner countries, such as in the improvement of their preparation for disease outbreaks. Thus, the Robert Koch Institute makes an important contribution to health protection not only in Germany, but worldwide.