Collaborations and International Networks

Local partners


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

Freie Universität Berlin (FU)

DFG research center for applied Mathematics (MATHEON)

German Center for Rheumatology Research (DRFZ)

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPI-MG)

Integrative Research Institute for Life Sciences (IRI-LS)

BIMSB is part of IRI-LS, which supports numerous collaborations between MDC, HU and Charité and educational activities in the field of systems biology.

Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

With the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), the MDC and the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have joined forces to build a research space for  translational research and overarching systems medicine approaches to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical application. BIMSB is a strong collaboration partner for BIH groups and projects.

National Networks

Single Cellomics Germany (SCOG)

Setting up a network for single-cell researchers in Germany and beyond is the goal of Single Cellomics Germany (SCOG). The initiative is jointly coordinated by Fabian Theis at the Institute of the Computational Biology HMGU in Munich, Nikolaus Rajewsky at the MDC/BIMSB and Jörn Walter at Saarland University and funded by the BMBF/DLR.

Single-cell research is revolutionising biology and medicine, combining omics technologies and microscopic analyses of single cells. Rapid technological advances now allow the profiling of genomes, transcriptomes, epigenomes and proteomes in individual cells at an unprecedented level of resolution. New computational methods are being developed and specifically tailored to harness the full potential of these single-cell omics data.

SCOG aims at bringing together national researchers with the mission to foster exchange of both computational and experimental methods and expertise and to strengthen single-cell research in Germany.

German Epigenome Programm (DEEP)

National Bioinformatics Infrastructure for RNA Biology (de.NBI)

European Initiatives

LifeTime FET Flagship Initiative

Predicting the onset and trajectory of a disease is the central vision of LifeTime, a European Initiative applying to become a new FET Flagship. The project brings together scientists from over 50 research institutes in 18 countries and is co-coordinated by Nikolaus Rajewsky at the MDC and Geneviève Almouzni at the Institut Curie, Paris.

Following recent advances in single cell analysis, in particular in the fields of high-throughput sequencing and imaging, tracking the molecular make-up of human cells in time and space has become more than a distant dream. European experts in molecular and  computational biology as well as clinical research have joined forces in LifeTime, an open initiative continuously growing and gathering support.


circRTrain is a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union within the H2020 Programme. circRTrain seeks to understand the origin, function and application of circular RNAs, new large class of non-coding RNAs, by providing cross-disciplinary training in experimental and computational biology for a new generation of researchers. The circRTrain network consists of interdisciplinary experts from leading European institutes such as Aarhus University (Denmark), CRG (Spain), Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (Germany), MDC (Germany), La Sapienza (Italy), UMC Utrecht (Netherlands), and industrial partners Bioneer (Denmark), Eurice (Germany), Exosomics (Italy), Qiagen (Denmark), and qpa (Germany).

CORBEL - Coordinated Research Infrastructures Building Enduring Life-science Services

BIMSB  is a key partner in the cluster project CORBEL, funded by Horizon 2020 for four years (2015-2019). Within this consortium of thirteen biological and medical research infrastructures (BMS RIs) from the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), BIMSB represents the infrastructure for Systems Biology in Europe (ISBE). Together with Euro-BioImaging at the EMBL, BIMSB co-leads one of the biggest work packages of the project (WP4), focusing on bioscience use cases.

At the end of 2016, CORBEL organized a first Open Call for Research Projects. In this framework, academic and industrial scientists in Europe were offered access to more than 15 service providers from 8 research infrastructures, integrated services grouped into 4 access tracks and an application review based on scientific excellence and technical feasibility. 21 selected applicants have since benefitted from open access to cutting-edge technologies and services including support from the Bioinformatics platform of the BIMSB. Travel grants are enabling nearly 50 visits with transnational access.

Based on this successful first edition, a second Open Call offering even more services has been launched on 26 March 2018.

For more information on CORBEL or ISBE, please contact Marie Vidal (Marie.Vidal@ or Christian Popp (Christian.Popp@

Worldwide Initiatives

Human Cell Atlas

IHEC (International Human Epigenome Consortium)

Institutional collaborations

BIMSB is fostering and maintaining collaborations with national and international research institutes, universities, and other organizations to facilitate joint research projects, staff exchange, access to cutting-edge technologies, and development of joint training activities.

PhD-Student exchange program with New York University

The MDC-NYU PhD Exchange program was launched in 2009 to train the next generation of systems biologists in experimental as well as computational approaches to understand the complex processes of life. Graduate students are jointly supervised by faculty from BIMSB and CGSB (Center for Genomics and Systems Biology) of the New York University Biology department. Short-term and long-term research visits within the program allow the students to take advantage of complimentary scientific and training expertise.

MRC CSC London


with Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (TEC) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI):

The German-Israeli Research School "Frontiers in Cell Signaling and Gene Regulation" is part of the Helmholtz International Research School Initiative and brings together leading experts from MDC (Berlin, Germany), Technion (Haifa, Israel) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel). Students in the field of cell signaling, gene regulation, and quantitative biology are jointly supervised by investigators from Germany and Israel and spend up to 6 months in the partner laboratory abroad.

Sapienza Universitá di Roma


Poznan-Berlin collaborations in RNA biochemistry have a long-standing history tied to the late Prof. Dr. Volker Erdmann (FU Berlin, member of the Polish Academy of Sciences). The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (IBCH) of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) has various interactions with BIMSB.  Young researchers from Poznan have joined the BIMSB with great success (e.g. Monika Piwecka et al., Science 2017). Nikolaus Rajewsky has collaborated with Jan Barciszewski (e.g. as editor for the Springer book series RNA Technologies). A joint retreat was organized on October 12, 2016 in Berlin. PIs of both institutions are enthusiastic about the initiative of joint research endeavors and the development of a long-term sustainable partnership.