MDC Berlin

Facts and figures

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC)


The MDC is one of the world’s leading biomedical research centers. MDC scientists analyze how the human body works in both health and disease. But above all, their basic research discoveries aim to benefit patients as quickly as possible – whether that’s paving the way for better diagnostics and therapies or preventing healthy people from getting sick.

Year founded



Berlin-born Nobel laureate Max Delbrück (1906–1981), one of the founders of molecular biology


Organizational form



1,253 employees (current as of 2021)

  • 833 working in scientific research
  • 420 in administration

Percentage of women:

  • Scientific research: 61.7%
  • Administration: 60%

MDC Gender Equality Plan

Percentage of foreign people working in science: 41.5%

    Main research areas

    The 88 labs at the MDC undertake research across four main areas and at the ECRC (see below):

    • Genes, cells and cell-based therapies
    • Molecular processes and therapies
    • Integrative biomedicine

    The MDC is also home to 15 technology platforms that develop scientific methods and technologies.

    Translation – transfer of research findings into medical practice

    The MDC has close partnerships with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin within:

    The MDC also cooperates with other university hospitals through the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).

    The MDC is a founding member of Berlin Research 50 (association of Berlin's non-university research institutions). Founding coordinator of the Life Sciences Section is Thomas Sommer

    Scientific excellence

    • 26 European Research Council grants (ERC-Grants) have been awarded to MDC scientists
    • Ernst Jung Prize winner: 1 (press release)
    • Leibniz Prize winners: 4
    • EMBO members: 9
    • Leopoldina members: 5
    • Second place among non-university research institutions in the area of life sciences in the DFG Funding Atlas (2018)


    567 scientific papers (current as of: 2019)


    90% from the German federal government (Federal Ministry of Education and Research);
    10% from the State of Berlin


    • €94.2 million from core funding
    • €36.2 million from third-party funding (incl. the BIH)

    (current as of 2019)