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

Gut bacteria are sensitive to salt

Nature study shows: Salt reduces lactic acid bacteria in the gut whichs influences immune cells responsible for autoimmune diseases and hypertension. Probiotics ameliorate the symptoms in mice.


The logistics of neuronal messenger RNAs

Where proteins are localized within a cell is crucial to their proper function, especially in cells like neurons. It affects neuronal development and even learning and memory. A research team led by Marina Chekulaeva has for the first time systematically analyzed how this localization comes about. Their article appeared in Nature Communications.


Further research highlights


New genes discovered that influence the risk of allergic diseases

The world’s largest study into allergies has shown that the genetic risk factors for atopic dermatitis (eczema), hay fever, and asthma are generally inherited together. The findings of this study by a consortium of researchers, including research groups from the MDC and Charité, have now been published in Nature Genetics.


It takes antisense to make sense of herpes infections

The Landthaler lab at the MDC and their collaborators discover that a herpes virus triggers the production of over 1,000 "antisense" transcripts in the genomes of cells it infects - hinting at a new mechanism by which viruses overcome cellular defenses.


By stimulating the excessive buildup of connective tissue, signaling molecule contributes to heart disease

One of the causes of heart failure is the formation of excess connective tissue. An international team of researchers has discovered a specific treatment approach involving the signaling molecule interleukin 11. Their findings have now been published in the journal Nature.


Further news on MDC Insights