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.

MDC 25 years

Research Highlights

An animal that runs on hybrid fuel

When oxygen gets scarce, the naked mole-rat throws a metabolic switch to draw energy from fructose rather than glucose.


Cartographers in the genome labyrinth

The 3D landscapes of the genome have to change all the time. Otherwise genes would not be expressed properly and physiology would be in disarray. Ana Pombo’s group is mapping this genomic regulation.


Further research highlights


How embryonic cells make spinal cord, muscle and bone

In mammalian embryos, crucial tissues are produced from a group of cells that are scarce and only exist for a very short time. Now, researchers have deciphered their molecular signature.


The search for the VRAC – three years later

Prof. Thomas J. Jentsch knows: Results from basic research in biology sometimes can quickly become relevant for medicine. He tells us how this happened with one of his subjects of research.


How naked mole-rats defy lack of oxygen

When oxygen runs low in their underground burrows, naked mole rats have a unique method of survival. Their metabolism switches from a glucose-based system, which depends on oxygen, to one that makes use of fructose. For a while this suffices to protect sensitive organs such as the heart and brain.


Further news on MDC Insights