The most important MDC university partner for translational research activities is the Charité, which is the medical school of both the Freie Universität Berlin and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU).

Since 2007, the MDC and the Charité have jointly run the experimental and clinical research center (ECRC), a center for translational medicine on the Campus Buch. The ECRC funds, on a competitive basis, research groups (headed by clinical researchers), project groups (headed by clinical or basic researchers) and clinical collaborative projects (jointly run by clinical and basic researchers). Also, a clinical training program has been established for young clinicians who wish to train in one of the MDC laboratories. The ECRC also houses specialized out-patient clinics of the Charité.

Recently, the MDC and the Charité have extended their joint activities even further by forming the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), which will focus on translational systems medicine research.

Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The MDC cooperates closely with its neighboring institute, the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), which has a complementary research profile. A noteworthy development is the joint FMP/MDC small-molecule screening unit. This unit allows researchers from both institutes to screen for compounds that interact with their molecule(s) of interest, providing a strategy for the discovery of research tools and therapeutic agents.

The MDC is also a partner in the FMP-coordinated European-wide screening infrastructure (EU-OPENSCREEN), funded within the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures initiative (ESFRI).

Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility

In 2009 the MDC, in collaboration with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, the Charité, the FMP and Siemens Medical Solutions opened an ultrahigh-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility on the campus. It provides 7-Tesla and 3-Tesla MR scanners for patients/probands and a 9.4-Tesla MR scanner for small rodents. These activities are part of a joint effort of all MDC programs to further develop in vivo imaging technologies to improve phenotyping of animal models and clinical imaging.