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

New brick in PKA Legoland adds complexity to a picture we thought we knew well

Protein Kinase A (PKA) is a protein that enjoys enough fame to be sketched by young biochemists listening to lectures about how it is regulated. The fundamental kinase is present throughout the body with a role in countless processes. It's easy to think PKA is so well studied that we know everything about it, but scientists at the MDC have found a new layer of PKA regulation which was published this week in Nature Communications.


The life cycle of proteins

Some proteins behave in an unusual way: the older they become, the more stable they are. A research team at the MDC has now published this surprising finding in the journal Cell. Their work has traced the life cycle of thousands of proteins from synthesis to disposal. The results are relevant for diseases where there are surplus copies of certain genes.


Further research highlights


BIMSB boosts cancer research with new research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” headed by Roland Schwarz

Bioinformatician Roland Schwarz has been lead investigator of the new BIMSB junior research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” since October 2016. Schwarz wants his work, particularly in the area of cancer research, to contribute towards ensuring that diseases are diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively.


Jennifer Kirwan named head of the BIH Metabolomics Core Facility

Mass spectrometry metabolomics at the MDC now has a second leg to stand on: On October 1, Dr. Jennifer Kirwan took up her position as the new head of the Metabolomics Core Facility of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), which is situated at the MDC. Dr. Stefan Kempa, who has been in charge until now, will continue to head the Metabolomics Core Facility within BIMSB.


Disturbance wanted – Newly characterized protein interaction may help in search for new cancer-fighting drugs

Some anticancer agents intend to disturb the function of the p97 protein complex, which is essential for survival of cancer cells. A team of researchers of the MDC has now found a way to break up the p97 complex into its subunits.


Further news on MDC Insights