The MDC Mission

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) carries out basic biomedical research with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of health and disease, and translating these findings as quickly as possible into clinical application. The research involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as their prevention.

Research Highlights

Fat cells with insulin receptor

Insulin-sensitive fat leads to obesity

SORLA is a protein that influences metabolism in adipose tissue. If there is too much of the molecule, fat cells become overly sensitive to insulin and break down less fat. This new link between SORLA and increases in body weight was discovered by MDC researchers. SORLA was previously known for its role in defending the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.



Personalized medicine: T cells fight cancer

A very promising approach in fighting cancer is targeting mutations of cancer cells. Scientists at the MDC now can explain which mutations are suitable for therapy and why cell culture tests are sometimes not enough.




Max Delbrück Center once again awarded family-friendly status

On June 23, 2016, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) was awarded the Work & Family Audit certificate for the third time for its family-friendly policies.



Sugar and spice and all things mice

On a lovely summer’s evening on June 11, 2016, the MDC held a Long Night of the Sciences (Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) event on its Berlin-Buch campus. Science fans of all ages took the opportunity to go on guided tours of the MDC laboratories, trying out fun activities like sampling “molecule meringues.”


Jan Philipp Junker

ARCHES award for MDC researcher: High-resolution maps of genetic modifications

This year’s ARCHES prize goes to systems biologist  Jan Philipp Junker of the MDC and Erez Levanon of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. The award, conferred on June 14, 2016, will support a research alliance that will allow certain changes in gene transcripts to be presented in high spatial resolution for the very first time.