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

Protein quality control in the cell: Waste removal more efficient than expected

Proteins perform so many vital tasks that without them, our bodies wouldn't function. In producing these molecules cells make a remarkable number of mistakes: about one third of all newly synthesized proteins are defective. A failure to recognize and eliminate them can lead to severe diseases. A team led by Prof. Thomas Sommer at the MDC has now gained new insights into the complex process of protein quality control in the cell.


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.


Further research highlights


Enjoy in moderation: compound from grapes protects cells from aging

Resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes, is famous for its potential health benefits. This is due to pro-oxidative effects, which promote the formation of free radicals and targeted cell reprogramming to protect against stress. Scientists from the MDC demonstrated this with experiments on human skin cells.


Top of her class: Véronique Gebala of the MDC wins the Helmholtz award for best thesis

This year's winner of the award for the best doctoral thesis in the field of Health is Véronique Gebala, a recent graduate from the MDC. Veronique and five other PhD students have been presented the PhD prize at the annual meeting of the Helmholtz Association on Sept. 22 in Berlin.


High-ranking Cuban delegation visits the MDC

A high-ranking Cuban delegation, headed by deputy health minister Dr. Alfredo Gonzalez Lorenzo, has just paid a visit to the MDC. The eight members of the delegation, who come from the fields of health policy, genetic research and tumor biology, as well as BioCubaFarma, an association of pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies, found out more about the structure and focus of the work carried out by the MDC and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP), and visited the BiotechPark at Berlin-Buch.


Further news on MDC Insights