- Senator for Research visits Max Delbrück Centre
- Big data, the opportunities of precision medicine, recent advances in organoid technology, and new developments in proteomics: Berlin's Senator for Higher Education and Research, Health and Long-Term Care, Ina Czyborra, visited the Max Delbrück Center in early January to learn about the latest developments in biomedicine.
- "I gained self-confidence in New York"
- Working in Berlin-Mitte and New York for your PhD – Lena Nitsch conducts research at both the MDC-BIMSB and New York University. For “We at the MDC”, the doctoral student discusses how it is to work in two labs, her experiences in the United States, and what she has learned through the “MDC-NYU PhD Exchange Program”.
- Leif Ludwig is named EMBO Young Investigator
- The European Molecular Biology Organization has selected Leif. S. Ludwig from the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and the Max Delbrück Center to become an EMBO Young Investigator. The program provides support to outstanding young life scientists.
- No precision medicine without diversity
- Biomedical research is mostly geared towards white men. During the Berlin Science Week, researchers discussed how this can be changed and how questions of diversity can be better taken into account in laboratories. Didn't have time to join? We have documented the event for you as a video.
- From Barcelona to Berlin
- To attract renowned researchers to Berlin, Stiftung Charité is funding “Visiting Fellows” with 1.5 million euros. One of them is Manuel Irimia from Barcelona. He is coming to the Max Delbrück Center for three years to analyze gene regulation.
- A new hub for cutting-edge cancer care
- From 2024, the Federal Government and the State of Berlin will fund the establishment of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Berlin. The new site is a cooperation between DKFZ and Charité, BIH, and Max Delbrück Center aimed at closely integrating clinical and translational cancer research.
- Lisec-Artz Prize goes to Simon Haas
- Simon Haas has been awarded the Lisec-Artz Prize, endowed with €10,000, for his single-cell analysis of communication between stem and immune cells in blood cancer. The University of Bonn Foundation established this prize to honor outstanding early-career cancer researchers.
- Influential in their field
- Sofia Forslund, Friedemann Paul, and Nikolaus Rajewsky are among the Highly Cited Researchers 2023. Each year the company Clarivate compiles a "Who's Who" list of highly influential researchers.
- DEI Week kicks off at the Max Delbrück Centre
- The Max Delbrück Center will host its first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week, from November 13 to 17, 2023. The event will foster engagement, support, and unity of its research community, and will feature workshops, panel discussions, and community activities at its Buch and Mitte locations.
- Controlling Organoids with light
- Organoids help researchers understand biological processes in health and in disease. It is, however, difficult to influence the way in which they organize themselves into complex tissues. Now a group led by Nikolaus Rajewsky has found a new way to do so. They report their work in Nature Methods.
- Why research needs diversity
- A data gap that threatens timely diagnosis and treatment for half the population, the visibility of female researchers in Wikipedia, and myriads of microbes in and on our bodies – the Max Delbrück Center's program for the Berlin Science Week 2023 is focused on dimensions of diversity.
- Following cells on their path to development
- It borders on the miraculous how an entire animal emerges from a single egg cell. In order to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms, Markus Mittnenzweig is establishing the Computational and Developmental Biology Lab at the Max Delbrück Center.
- The Max Delbrück Center celebrates 15 years of MDC‑BIMSB
- Internationally renowned for pioneering achievements and geared to inter-institutional cooperation: 22 research groups at the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology in the Max Delbrück Center (MDC-BIMSB) explore how genes regulate life. It is now celebrating its 15th birthday.
- Preparations for new Einstein Center begin
- With a grant of 600,000 euros, the Einstein Foundation Berlin is funding the preliminary module for an Einstein Center for Early Disease Interception. Ten Berlin institutions – including the Max Delbrück Center – are looking to develop, integrate and apply the technologies needed for precision medicine more quickly.
- Rare kidney disease is genetically decoded
- Bartter syndrome type 3 is the result of several structural variants in the genome. By using long-read sequencing, Janine Altmüller and her team from the Max Delbrück Center, the BIH and University Hospital Cologne mapped out the rare disease in unprecedented detail. They have now reported their findings in “Genome Medicine.”
- Only long-living RNAs reach their destination
- RNA molecules travel long distances through nerve cells. To reach their destination, they need one thing more than any other – a long life – as a research team led by Marina Chekulaeva from MDC-BIMSB reports in the journal “Molecular Cell.”
- T cells require healthy “power plants”
- Some T cells of the immune system are especially sensitive to genetic disturbances within their mitochondrial power plants. Scientists from BIH and Max Delbrück Center have now published their findings in the journal “Nature Genetics”.
- Colon tissue made in the lab
- The intestine has a complex anatomical structure that includes “crypts.” Researchers led by Michael Sigal have now reconstructed these glands. In “Nature Communications”, they describe how the cells communicate with each other and how people with gut disorders could benefit from their findings.
- Leif S. Ludwig wins Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize
- Biochemist and physician Leif S. Ludwig of the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and the Max Delbrück Center has been named a recipient of the 2023 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, as the German Research Foundation (DFG) announced on June 27th.
- Studying herpes encephalitis with mini-brains
- The herpes simplex virus-1 can sometimes cause a dangerous brain infection. Combining an anti-inflammatory and an antiviral could help in these cases, report scientists with the Rajewsky and Landthaler labs and the Organoid Platform at the Max Delbrück Center in “Nature Microbiology.”
- New tool uncovers complex genome interactions
- Genome Architecture Mapping captures complex, multi-way interactions in the genome. This is different than the workhorse technique of 3D genomics, which sees mostly two-way contacts, finds a new study by a team led by Ana Pombo from the Max Delbrück Center, published in “Nature Methods”.
- Examining childhood cancer cell by cell
- Neuroblastoma is the third most common malignancy in children. Berlin-based researchers will investigate how they originate and grow in a new Collaborative Research Centre. The project, supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has been granted approximately €13.5 million.
- Unwinding clues to disease in DNA’s 3D structure
- The Robson lab at the Max Delbrück Center will be studying how the 3D structure of chromatin controls genes during development and in disease. Leveraging novel single cell methods, they will look at muscular dystrophies and retinal disease. Both seem to be linked to mutations that disrupt the function of non-coding DNA.
- Creating something new together
- With its Music Meets Life Sciences series, the Max Delbrück Center aims to build a bridge between art and science as musicians from the Barenboim-Said Akademie meet with biomedical researchers. In late April, Akademie students gave another concert at MDC-BIMSB, this time playing with Michael Barenboim.
- How skates learned to fly through water
- Genes are not the only drivers of evolution. The iconic fins of skates are caused by changes in the non-coding parts of the genome and its three-dimensional structure, a research team including Darío Lupiáñez at the Max Delbrück Center reports in “Nature”.
- Nasal vaccine to prevent COVID-19 passes first tests
- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been working on mucosal vaccines that can be administered through the nose. Now, scientists in Berlin have developed a live attenuated vaccine for the nose. In “Nature Microbiology”, they describe the special immune protection it induces.
- Long awaited by the pharma industry
- It takes great patience and perseverance to turn research findings into new technologies or therapies. The Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund gives financial support to “pathfinder projects” that are particularly promising. Researchers at the Max Delbrück Center have now won grants for three projects.
- The key to the right treatment
- Berlin-based research project MSTARS is entering its second round. Matthias Selbach and Fabian Coscia explain how the Max Delbrück Center is contributing, why the collaboration with Charité is so important, and how studying proteins in cells can help identify the best therapy for a patient.
- An element of surprise and serendipity
- The pianist SooJin Anjou and the scientist Nikolaus Rajewsky are both experts in their respective fields. Together, they have created the event series “Spark”: a concert and meet-up for creative people, an exploration to learn from both sides. On March 13th, the series continued at MDC-BIMSB.
- Cracking the chromatin code
- Chromatin factors are involved in regulating gene expression. If they do not function properly, this can result in neurological impairments. Ana Pombo and Alexander Kukalev are now receiving almost €400,000 from the DFG for a research project that aims to shed more light on how these factors work.
- AI analysis of cancer mutations may improve therapy
- Combining single-cell data with a self-learning algorithm reveals how structural changes in chromosomes can trigger cancer. This new method could pave the way for personalized cancer treatments, writes a team led by Ashley Sanders in “Nature Biotechnology”.
- Decoding cellular zipcodes
- Researchers suspect that neurodegenerative diseases occur when messenger RNA (mRNA) goes astray in the neuron. With a new method, Marina Chekulaeva is able to identify “zipcodes” that assign a destination to mRNAs. She has now presented her method in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
- Paul Ehrlich Foundation honors Leif S. Ludwig
- Leif S. Ludwig, a researcher at the Max Delbrück Center and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH), will receive the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Young Investigator Award 2023 for a new method to analyze the formation of blood cells, as the Scientific Council of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation announced today.
- What octopus and human brains have in common
- Cephalopods like octopuses, squids and cuttlefish are highly intelligent animals with complex nervous systems. In “Science Advances”, a team led by Nikolaus Rajewsky of the Max Delbrück Center has now shown that their evolution is linked to a dramatic expansion of their microRNA repertoire.
- ERC Starting Grants for Berlin scientists
- They have their sights set on serious diseases: Gabriele G. Schiattarella analyzes mechanisms of heart failure, Simon Haas wants to improve immunotherapies for leukemia and Michael Sigal would like to prevent gastrointestinal diseases. Now, the ERC is awarding the researchers with a Starting Grant.
- Poor delivery service in the brain
- With funding from the Alzheimer’s Association, Melissa Birol hopes to uncover the molecular causes of age-related dementia. Her hypothesis is that a fatal interaction of tau and ApoE proteins prevents neurons from being supplied with sufficient fat, triggering their death.
- Searching the sewers for viruses
- Algorithms developed at the Max Delbrück Center are able to quickly detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants in wastewater. But that’s not all: the tool, which Altuna Akalin and his colleagues have now presented in “Science of the Total Environment”, can also find other pathogens. →
- Key processes in acute kidney injury revealed
- Peering into single cells reveals new insights into acute kidney injury. Reporting in “Genome Medicine” and “Kidney International”, research teams at BIMSB, Charité and MHH describe novel gene expression patterns that may lead to new therapeutic approaches and strategies for biomarker discovery. →
- Heisenberg Program accepts RNA biologist
- Errors in cellular RNA metabolism are dangerous for nerve cells. For her work in this area, Marina Chekulaeva has now been accepted into the DFG Heisenberg program. →
- Award for stem cell scientist Simon Haas
- Simon Haas receives the Young Investigator Award 2022 of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN). Haas leads the research group Systemic Hematology, Stem Cells & Precision Medicine in the joint research focus "Single Cell Approaches for Personalized Medicine" of BIH, Charité and MDC. →
- CRISPR-based rapid tests for heart attacks & cancer
- A CRISPR-based rapid test called CrisprZyme could help general practitioners to diagnose heart attacks and distinguish between different types of prostate cancer. They do not even need a lab, as an international team of scientists – including Michael Kaminski – reports in "Nature Nanotechnology". →
- In-depth profiling of single cells
- Single-cell analyses provide a wealth of molecular and genetic information. A team led by MDC researcher Uwe Ohler is using machine learning to combine these data and produce meaningful profiles of the cells. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is now funding the project. →
- How the zebrafish repairs a broken heart
- An MDC research team led by Jan Philipp Junker and Daniela Panáková has found that zebrafish can regenerate heart tissue after injury. Connective tissue cells play an important role in the process by temporarily entering an activated state, as the team reports in “Nature Genetics”. →
- Influential barriers
- The way the genome is folded regulates gene activation, so it can’t be left to chance. Molecular boundaries across the genome keep things in order. A team led by MDC researcher Darío Lupiáñez has discovered how these boundaries work. Their findings, published in Nature Genetics, could help us to better understand developmental diseases or cancer. →
- Honing young talent for single-cell medicine
- This spring, the MDC, BIH and Charité hosted the first e:Med Summer School on single-cell- based systems medicine, with the goal of ensuring that basic findings in the field are translated into clinical practice. The event welcomed 20 young biomedical researchers, data scientists and clinicians from around the world. →
- AI identifies cancer cells
- How do cancer cells differ from healthy cells? A new machine learning algorithm called “ikarus” knows the answer, reports a team led by MDC bioinformatician Altuna Akalin in the journal "Genome Biology". The AI program has found a gene signature characteristic of tumors. →
- How blood stem cells stay intact for a lifetime
- Stem cells in the bone marrow form the cells of the blood throughout life. In the process, mistakes can occur leading to cancer. Together with a research team from Berlin, Heidelberg and Boston, Simon Haas describes in "Cell Stem Cell" a mechanism that allows the body to protect itself from this risk. →
- The RNA profiler
- In order to put their genetic blueprints into action, human cells need RNA-binding proteins. Markus Landthaler observes these proteins while they interact with RNA – in order to understand how they work, and how to make use of them. →
- COVID-19 therapy: Better in combination than alone
- More and more drugs are available for the treatment of COVID-19. Researchers from Charité, FU and MDC in Berlin have investigated the mechanisms of action of antiviral and anti-inflammatory substances. In the journal "Molecular Therapy" they describe that a combination of both works best. →
- Pioneers with broad horizons: Data scientists at HEIBRiDS
- Demand is high for young scientists who are well versed in the data sciences as well as in another discipline. At the Helmholtz graduate school HEIBRiDS in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, eleven institutions have teamed up to train scientists. The range of subjects they cover spans everything from genetic research to astronomy. →
- Two ERC Consolidator Grants go to MDC researchers
- How can a heart heal itself? And what determines the sex of a living organism? The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Consolidator Grants to Dr. Jan Philipp Junker and Dr. Darío Lupiáñez to tackle these questions. Each researcher will receive €2 million over five years for their research. →
- An ornamental fish with superpowers
- Zebrafish have played an important role in basic biomedical research for over 50 years, including research into the causes of congenital heart defects and the consequences of heart attacks. For researchers working with these fish, it's important to respect animal welfare and find ways of improving it. →
- How SARS-CoV-2 takes over the cell's protein factory
- The question of how the Covid virus takes over host cells and suppresses the body's defences has been the subject of much debate. Now a research team led by Marina Chekulaeva at the MDC has pinpointed the crucial mechanism involved. Their results have been published in the journal “RNA”. →
- The fly atlas
- In the Fly Cell Atlas, a project initiated by a team of scientists including Robert Zinzen, researchers are mapping in detail the cells of the fly Drosophila. They have now presented a comprehensive single-cell atlas of the animal, consisting of more than 250 cell types, in the journal Science. →
- Watching aggressive breast cancer as it grows
- EMBO fellow Ilan Theurillat investigates how the most lethal subtype of breast cancer develops. He is driven by many unanswered questions such as: Why do fibroblasts wrap themselves around the triple negative tumor like a shield? Can such a tumor form from a single cancer cell? →
- New subtype of Omicron on the rise
- Similar to the recent situation in Denmark, a new subvariant of Omicron known as BA.2 is now spreading in Berlin. This was revealed by an analysis of wastewater samples at the MDC in cooperation with the Berliner Wasserbetriebe and the Berlin lab of the amedes Group. The rapid emergence of BA.2 could prolong the current wave of COVID-19 infection. →
- Genomic regulatory map of the zebrafish
- The zebrafish is an important model organism for studying things like genetic diseases. A regulatory map of its genome has been successfully created using high-throughput experiments and AI methods, a team led by Uwe Ohler now reports in "Cell Genomics" and "Nature Machine Intelligence". →
- Open Positions
- for Independent Junior Group Leader (f/m/d) at BIMSB →
- ERC awards for Dr. Stefanie Grosswendt
- Both researchers study communication, but at different levels: Dr. Stefanie Grosswendt and Dr. Alison Barker have been awarded European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. The prestigious grants provide about €1.5 million in funding over a period of five years. →