Key Visual

Science in the center

The MDC in Mitte: Opening Ceremony of the BIMSB Research Building


The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) is coming to Mitte soon. We are officially opening a new research facility in the heart of Berlin – which will give us a second location.

The opening ceremony “Science in the center” will begin with a speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Tours of the new research building, which was designed by Staab Architekten, will be offered during the reception that follows.

The building will serve as the new home of the MDC’s Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB). Its some 250 scientists want to understand how genes regulate the lives of cells in health and disease. This requires breaking down the traditional boundaries between biotechnology, computer science, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicine, and other disciplines.

A few highlights show just how successful BIMSB has been since its founding in 2008: What started as one research group has grown to 16 labs, and BIMSB’s scientists have come to Berlin from all over the world. They are regarded as the avant-garde for cutting-edge research techniques, whether it’s high-throughput technologies, new diseases models that use mini-organs (organoids), the analysis of genome architecture, or the application of artificial intelligence to life science research. 

A major focus is on single-cell biology. The scientists want to gain an understanding of how individual cells change over their life span: which genes are switched on and off and when this takes place; how such interaction gives rise to organs and entire organisms; and what exactly occurs when cells age, when cells regenerate, and when diseases emerge. The editors of the journal Science selected the pioneering achievements in which BIMSB researchers had a part as the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year

During the opening ceremony you will get a glimpse of this cutting-edge research. We look forward to welcoming you to MDC Campus Mitte on this day.

Martin Lohse

Martin Lohse

Heike Graßmann

Heike Graßmann

Nikolaus Rajewsky

Nikolaus Rajewsky
Head of BIMSB




2:45 p.m. Admission and Registration

3:30 p.m.


Prof. Martin Lohse 
Scientific Director of the MDC

Welcoming Remarks

Prof. Nikolaus Rajewsky
Head of BIMSB

Address by

Dr. Angela Merkel
Federal Chancellor

Music saxophone quartet

Scientific Kaleidoscope

Prof. Dr. Ana Pombo
Rieke Kempfer
Dr. Jan Phillip Junker
Dr. Stephan Preibisch

Presentation: Monika Seynsche

4:45 p.m. Reception

Guided tours of the new building will be offered during the reception


The construction of a new lab and research facility on the Life Sciences Campus of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) will give the MDC a second location in the center of Berlin.

The building will serve as the new home of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), which since its inception in 2008 has significantly expanded the MDC’s research profile. Once the move is completed, BIMSB’s research groups will be able to collaborate closely – in both physical and thematic terms – with HU’s natural science departments and Charité’s clinical researchers.

The researchers at BIMSB want to understand how genes regulate the lives of cells in health and disease. This requires breaking down the traditional boundaries between disciplines such as biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and computer science. The new building brings together lab spaces, computer-intensive bioinformatics workstations, and theoretical work spaces under one roof. Along with providing the flexibility to meet differing requirements, including accommodating the varying sizes of the work spaces, the building is primarily meant to promote collaboration and exchange among researchers. A proposal by the firm Staab Architekten won the design competition.

Key facts and figures

Architects, building and dates

Architect: Staab Architekten
Building contractor: Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin
Lab planning: Eurolabors AG
Technical building equipment: Winter Ingenieure
Electrical planning: Schröder und Partner
Structural planning: Dircks, Babilon und Voigt

Building plot: 4570 square meters
Total floor space (labs and offices): 5423 square meters

Building permit: January 6, 2015
Construction start: February 2016
Building commissioning: 2019

A building designed for interdisciplinary research

The building’s floor plan facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to scientific work. The entrance foyer leads to an event hall that can be opened up onto the forecourt. From the foyer one can proceed to a stair hall that forms the communicative center of the building. A sculptural spiral staircase with varied ceiling cutouts connects all floors and invites exploration of the building. A number of glazed meeting and common spaces run along the hall. There is also direct access to a spacious rooftop terrace on the third floor.

Each wing of the building features a core area dedicated to different laboratory tasks. A wide corridor along the facade facing the forecourt provides access to the labs and conveniently connects the various wings of the building to the central stairwell. On the other side, projecting from the labs – and only separated by a glass wall – is an open-plan work zone equipped with theoretical work spaces. To ensure that the lab areas are highly flexible, there are accessible central shafts located on the two narrow sides that supply the core area with media from the technical centers in the basement and the sixth floor. Exposed fittings running below the ceiling and a minimalist support structure consisting of just a few columns and core elements serve to create an easily adaptable system.

The urban cube design of the new building emerges from the summation of two volumes that form, through their different heights, a distinctive structure while at the same taking into account the surrounding architecture. The angular three-story east wing and the seven-story west wing are set at angles, thus creating a forecourt.


The forecourt-facing side of the building features a glass facade divided only by narrow aluminum strips. This transparent facade gives approaching visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of scientists

The facade is printed with an organic-looking pattern that ties the building’s story-high glass panes visually together. On the one hand, it is a nod to the Institute’s research focus, while on the other hand, it provides a contrast to the building’s orthogonal geometry. This design feature also offers protection against the sun and reduces reflections on the glass, thus minimizing the risk of bird strikes. The courtyard sides are dominated by clearly subdivided aluminum facades, which are adorned with deep natural-colored slats. These add a sense of grandness to the building, plus the rhythm of the slats allows for a flexible configuration of wall junctions in the offices inside while also helping to provide sun protection.


Unfortunately, registration is no longer possible. Please contact or call +49 30 284938-43.

Please ensure you arrive in good time. The number of seats is limited.

How to get there

The new building is located on the Life Sciences Campus of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) in Berlin’s Mitte district.

Google Maps view and route planner

Getting there by public transportation

There are several stations in close vicinity to the new building. Nearby subway and commuter rail stations include:

  • Oranienburger Tor U-Bahn
  • Nordbahnhof S-Bahn
  • Oranienburger Straße S-Bahn

Enter your location as the starting point in the form below and the Deutsche Bahn’s system will find the best transportation options for you. 


Tuesday 26 February, 2019
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
(admission from 2:45 p.m.)
Reception afterwards


Admission with registration only!


Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine | BIMSB
Hannoversche Str. 28
10115 Berlin