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The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)

A Unique Combination of Basic and Clinical Research

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) is a unique research center in a united Germany. It combines basic and clinical research. This is a continuation of a long tradition carried over from the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The MDC, founded in January 1992, was formed from three central institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR in Berlin-Buch. The director of the MDC is the internationally renowned researcher on hypertension from the University of Heidelberg, Prof. Detlev Ganten.

The MDC is named after the Nobel Prize winner Max Delbrück. Delbrück, together with the Russian geneticist Nicolai Vladimirovich Timofeeff-Ressovsky, laid the basis for research on molecular genetics in Berlin, in 1935, with their paper "Über die Natur der Genmutation und der Genstruktur" ("On the Nature of Gene Mutation and Gene Structure").

Molecular Medicine, still a relatively young field of research, has the goal of getting at the roots of complex illnesses such as cancer and hypertension. The aim of the MDC is to quickly apply the progress made in molecular biology to the clinical setting. The MDC has six main areas of research: Genetics, cell physiology, gene therapy, neurobiology and experimental and clinical research in cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Research in the latter two fields is carried out at the MDC together with two clinics - the Robert Rössle Oncology Clinic and the Franz Volhard Cardiovascular Clinic. The two clinics have a total of 280 beds. They are part of the Rudolf Virchow University Clinic of the Berlin Free University. The MDC also cooperates with the Steglitz University Clinic, the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University (the Charité) and the

Max Planck Institutes.

The MDC presently has a staff of 465, of which about 130 are scientists, most of whom have come from the three former academy institutes in Berlin-Buch. The MDC has a budget this year of 80 million marks. It hopes that the staff can be increased to 600 through external funding. There are 400 people employed by the Robert Rössle and Franz Volhard Clinics of which 80 are doctors.

The MDC is one of three research centers in the new länder (states) of Germany. There are a total of 16 research centers in Germany which obtain 90 per cent of their funding from the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology in Bonn, with the remaining 10 per cent coming from the länder in which they are located.


Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10
0-1115 Berlin


Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax:  +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33