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

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.


Inducing an identity crisis in liver cells may help diabetics

Francesca Spagnoli's team reprogrammed cells from the liver of mice to become precursor cells of the pancreas by altering a single gene. The results could help diabetics in the future.


Further research highlights


ERC funding for two MDC scientists 

Medical imaging has an unavoidable side effect: MRI machines generate heat. Thoralf Niendorf has now been awarded an ERC Advanced grant to turn this feature into a tool to study the role of temperature in animal bodies. A second ERC Advanced Grant goes to Thomas Jentsch, who will explore the functions of ion channels in health and disease.


Congratulations, ERC!

The European Research Council (ERC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week.


A three-dimensional map of the genome

Cells have to pack their genetic material into the tiny nucleus. This creates spatial interactions between genes and their switches, which can affect human health and disease. A new technique ‘maps’ this three-dimensional geography of the genome.


Further news on MDC Insights