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.

MDC 25 years

Research Highlights

Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. 


Cutting cancer’s lifeline

A new study in the journal Nature reveals that a small signaling molecule has the ability to cut off the blood supply to tumors. This allows the immune system’s T-cells to indirectly fight cancer.


Further research highlights


How mice babies ensure mother’s protection

The calls of new-born mice draw the attention of their mother. A group of neuronal cells in the brain stem, which coordinate exhalation and tension of muscles in the larynx is essential for this process. Without these cells, the mice are mute. These are the results of a study by a research team at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, which appears in the journal PNAS. The cries of human babies may well depend on similar connections, which could also be impaired in speech disorders.


Biomarkers for identifying Tumor Aggressiveness

A Berlin study of patients with early-stage colon cancer shows that DNA repair mechanisms and MACC1 gene activity helps determine prognosis and predict response to chemotherapy.


Largest nationwide health study NAKO in Berlin: 3,000th participant examined in MRI scanner

We have reached the half-way mark. Ute Radeklau from Berlin is the 3,000th person to be examined in the Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the context of the largest German health study NAKO. It took a good hour to take a thousand MRI images of her.


Further news on MDC Insights