Recent News


Markus Landthaler promoted to Professor


With April 1st, systems biologist Markus Landthaler of the MDC has been appointed Professor for “RNA Systems Biology” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Markus Landthaler is a group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). He wants to understand how proteins bind to and modulate the function of the messenger RNA (mRNA) and influence the transmission of genetic information. His new chair “RNA Biology” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) was appointed within the framework of the Integrative Research Institute of Life Sciences (IRI Life Sciences). IRI Life Sciences is a collaboration between the HU, the MDC and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The chair is intended to bridge the activities at IRI Life Sciences and the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) of the MDC.

“The Reviewers and the Scientific Council emphasized that the MDC, the Humboldt-Universität and Berlin can count themselves lucky to retain such a cooperative scientist and inspiring colleague like Markus Landthaler,” Thomas Sommer said in his laudation, who is chair of the appointments committee and Deputy Scientific Chair of the MDC.


April 2017


PUBLICATION: A three-dimensional map of the genome


Gene mapping technique promises to unlock the power of proximity to find genes implicated in diseases.

Cells face a daunting task. They have to neatly pack a several meter-long thread of genetic material into a nucleus that measures only five micrometers across. This origami creates spatial interactions between genes and their switches, which can affect human health and disease. Now, an international team of scientists has devised a powerful new technique that ‘maps’ this three-dimensional geography of the entire genome.


March 2017


STUDENT UPDATE: Christin Zasada successfully defends her doctoral thesis


Christin Zasada, Kempa group, has successfully defended her doctoral thesis “Experimental and mathematical analysis of the central carbon metabolism in cancer and stem cells" with the grade magna cum laude at the Institute of Biology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on February 22, 2017.


Thesis reviewers: H. Holzhuetter, E. Klipp, M. Landthaler

Doctoral commission: T. Sommer, E. Klipp, A. Pombo, H. Holzhuetter and M. Landthaler

This research was funded by the BMBF and the MDC.

February 2017


STUDENT UPDATE: Mahmoud Ibrahim successfully defends his doctoral thesis


Mahmoud Ibrahim, Ohler group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Promoter and Enhancer Chromatin Dynamics during Direct Cell Fate Programming" with the grade summa cum laude at the Institute of Biology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on February 17, 2017.


Thesis reviewers: U. Ohler, E. Mazzoni and M. Vingron

Doctoral commission: L. Ringrose, M. Vingron, U. Ohler, A. Pombo and E. Mazzoni.

This research was funded by the MDC-NYU PhD Exchange Program and was jointly conducted with the laboratory of Esteban Mazzoni at NYU.

February 2017


picture of Alexander van Oudenaarden with MDC graduate students and postdocs

(Photo/Copyright: MDC)

SEMINAR SERIES: Alexander van Oudenaarden - Distinguished Speaker in the BIMSB Seminar Series 


On February 14, 2017, we had the pleasure to host Alexander van Oudenaarden, director of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, as a distinguished speaker in our seminar series. Alexander is a world-leader in systems biology of single cells. At the Berlin Institute of Medical Systems Biology he spoke about systematic approaches to identify novel cell types and about emerging methods for determining cell-cell interactions and lineage history by single cell sequencing.

In addition to meetings with individual group leaders and discussions with PhD students and postdocs over lunch and dinner, Alexander also gave the closing lecture of our lecture series on single cell technologies on February 15.

February 2017


Of bits, bytes, and bacteria: a week of systems biology at the MDC


Can the lives of microorganisms be described through mathematics? It is one of the questions that pupils participating in the MINT Excellence Academy in “Systems Biology” have asked scientists during their visit to the MDC from Feb 6 to 10 this year. Twenty pupils from across Germany have come to catch a glimpse of how researchers combine laboratory and computational science into models of biological processes.


February 2017


Algorithms help navigate through the data thicket of biological systems


If one looks beyond individual molecules, biology quickly becomes complex. All life processes seem to affect one another. The computer scientist Uwe Ohler and his team of researchers at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) are using algorithms and mathematical models to map a path through this tangle of dependencies.


January 2017


STUDENT UPDATE: Kathrin Theil successfully defends her doctoral thesis


Kathrin Theil, N Rajewsky group, has successfully defended her doctoral thesis "Identification and characterization of regulatory protein-RNA interactions in the C. elegans germline" with the grade magna cum laude at the Institute of Biology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on January 17, 2017.


Thesis reviewers: N. Rajewsky, C. Schmitz-Linneweber and T. Sommer

Doctoral commission: A. Herrmann, N. Rajewsky, C. Schmitz-Linneweber, T. Sommer and A. Pombo

January 2017


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