The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine carries out basic biomedical research. We try to understand the causes of diseases at the molecular level, in order to better diagnose, treat and prevent them. Our aim is to transfer our findings as quickly as possible into practical applications.

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Research Highlights


Showing defective proteins the door

Some proteins are misfolded during their processing in a cellular structure called the endoplasmic reticulum. In the Jan. 16 issue of Nature Cell Biology, Thomas Sommer’s group identifies a molecule that plays a key role in transporting them to the cytoplasm, where they will be destroyed.



MicroRNAs: micromanaging the pancreatic beta-cell

Usually after a meal, our bloodstream carries excess glucose that should be absorbed by cells. They are instructed to do so by the hormone insulin, which is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. In diabetes type 2, cells become resistant to insulin. The body tries to compensate by creating more beta cells and producing more of the hormone. Matthew Poy's lab has now shown that this response depends on a complex biochemical pathway in the cells involving microRNA molecules. The work appears in the Jan. 7 edition of Cell Metabolism.