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


Yasuyuki Fujita: helping cells recognise bad neighbours

MDC alumnus and Professor Yasuyuki Fujita has good advice for budding scientists who want to establish their own group. In his research he investigates the interactions between cancer cells and their neighbouring cells, aiming to find a way to help healthy cells recognise tumour cells and kill them.


MDC’s diversity offers opportunities for system-wide disease research

On July 13, 2016 the MDC officially welcomed Prof. Martin Lohse in his new role as MDC Chairman of the Board of Directors and Scientific Director. The ceremony included a convivial reception and speeches by guests in the fields of politics and research.


A “time switch” in the brain improves sense of smell 

When the brain processes olfactory stimuli, it differentiates between similar smells using subtly modulated signals. Brain examinations and behavioral studies in mice have now shown that neurons with inhibiting characteristics play a key role in this process.


Further news on MDC Insights