The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine carries out basic biomedical research. We try to understand the causes of diseases at the molecular level, in order to better diagnose, treat and prevent them. Our aim is to transfer our findings as quickly as possible into practical applications.

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Research Highlights


Successful search for the all-rounders among the embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are regarded as a beacon of hope in regenerative medicine, because in principle they are capable to develop into any cell type of the body. The hope is that one day it will be possible to replace damaged tissue and cure numerous diseases with them. One of the obstacles facing research is that actually only a fraction of the cells in culture dishes with human embryonic stem cells represent this early, truly pluripotent state. MDC Researchers together with collaborators from the University of Bath in England have found a method to identify these “naïve” embryonic stem cells. Their work was recently described in the journal Nature.



A cool new method for growing better muscle

Satellite cells, which develop into striated muscle, have a regenerative capacity which could be useful in therapies for muscular dystrophy and other diseases. The groups of Simone Spuler and Zsuzsanna Izsvák have now developed a method to isolate human satellite cells and equip them with new genes. The work appeared in the Oct. 1 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.