The MDC Mission

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) carries out basic biomedical research with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of health and disease, and translating these findings as quickly as possible into clinical application. The research involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as their prevention.

Research Highlights

Insulin-sensitive fat leads to obesity

SORLA is a protein that influences metabolism in adipose tissue. If there is too much of the molecule, fat cells become overly sensitive to insulin and break down less fat. This new link between SORLA and increases in body weight was discovered by MDC researchers. SORLA was previously known for its role in defending the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.


Personalized medicine: T cells fight cancer

In cancer, one of the body’s cells stops playing by the rules that govern the cell cycle and divides uncontrollably. This is often due to mutations that lead to errors in the mechanisms that control cell division. Several teams of scientists at the MDC and the Charité are working on a T-cell therapy that specifically […]


Further research highlights


Microglia development follows a stepwise program to regulate brain homeostasis

MDC researcher Michael Sieweke joined forces with two research teams from the Weizmann Institute to publish a new study, which is pointing to the central role of transcription factor MafB on the final maturation steps of microglia.


Stem cells of worms and humans more similar than expected

The same regulatory mechanisms are active in the stem cells of flatworms and humans: The RNA is processed in a similar manner in the cells of both organisms. These mechanisms seem to be at work throughout the whole animal kingdom. Scientists from the MDC showed this in a genome-wide study on flatworms.


Globalizing medical imaging

Lukas Winter, a postdoc in Thoralf Niendorf's lab, is activating the MRI community in an Open Source project to build instruments that will be affordable and accessible to people all over the world.


Further news on MDC Insights