The presentation of the research groups, technology platforms and technology transfer projects provides insight into the research activities of the MDC. “In recent years the scientists of the MDC have again achieved internationally acclaimed results and published them in leading journals,” said Professor Walter Rosenthal, scientific director of the MDC, in his introduction to the research report. In 2010 the MDC ranked 14th on the Thomson Reuters list in the field of molecular biology and genetics, making it the only German research institution to be among the world’s “Top Twenty”.
Furthermore, Professor Rosenthal emphasized the MDC’s extensive participation in excellence clusters and collaborative research centers, the acquisition of eight ERC grants and the award of the Leibniz Prize –the most highly endowed German research prize – to Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky, head of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the MDC, during the period covered by the report.
“The founding charter of the MDC, which was formulated in 1992, is more relevant than ever,” Professor Rosenthal went on to say. “Its aim is to make laboratory results quickly available to doctors and patients in the hospital – as we say the ʽbench to bedsideʼ approach.” In 2007 the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ), modeled after Clinical Research Centers (CRC) in the U.S., was founded on Campus Berlin-Buch.
As a joint institution of the MDC and the Charité, the ECRC promotes cooperation between basic scientists and clinical researchers in order to accelerate the transfer of insights gained from laboratory research into medical practice. In the future, according to Prof. Rosenthal, the MDC will take its longstanding and close partnership with the Charité to a new level by developing a common institutional platform. This will ensure that “basic biomedical research and clinical research will benefit even more from each other than in the past.”
The MDC was founded on the Campus Berlin-Buch in 1992. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and receives its basic operational funding of approximately 71 million euros a year in a fixed ratio of 90 percent from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent from the state of Berlin. In addition, extramural grants acquired by the researchers are in the two-digit million-euro range each year. At present, approximately 1350 people work at the MDC. These include around 1100 research staff members, of whom around 700 are scientists from Germany and from other countries. Along with its partnership with the Charité, the MDC cooperates closely with the Berlin universities, with the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), the biotechnology park on Campus Berlin-Buch with its 55 companies and with universities and research institutions inside and outside of Germany.
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