Martin Lohse

Change in the Board of Directors of the MDC

The Scientific Director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), Professor Martin Lohse, is resigning from his office in full agreement with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in order to devote more time to his scientific work. The MDC is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions.

Prof. Dr. Martin Lohse

Professor Lohse, pharmacologist and recipient of the Leibniz Prize and many international awards, has been the Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director of the MDC since April 2016. During this time, he has played a key role in charting the future course of the MDC and was responsible for the comprehensive international evaluation in 2018 that resulted in the rating of “outstanding” for the MDC. Professor Lohse has also initiated the creation of new research structures at the Center. A new building for the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) was inaugurated in February 2019 by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Professor Lohse holds a number of important posts, both nationally and internationally. In his function as Vice-President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, he recently led the writing of the highly regarded statement entitled “Clean Air – Nitrogen Oxides and Respirable Particulate Matter,” calling for a federal strategy on diesel driving bans and air pollution control. In the future, Professor Lohse intends to concentrate on his research into drug effects and cardiovascular diseases.

Prof. Dr. Heike Graßmann

Prof. Dr. Thomas Sommer, Scientific Director of the MDC (interim)

The MDC’s Supervisory Board and the BMBF express their sincere thanks and recognition to Professor Lohse for his outstanding services to the MDC. Professor Veronika von Messling, a Director-General at the BMBF, says: “Professor Lohse is an internationally distinguished scientist who has optimally positioned the MDC to meet its future challenges. Having started several biotech companies, he has taken important steps to facilitate spin-offs from the MDC, most notably through the establishment of an incubator.” On behalf of the BMBF, she wishes him every success for his future plans. She is grateful that Professor Lohse will ensure a smooth transition, together with the Administrative Director, Professor Heike Graßmann, and Professor Thomas Sommer.

Professor Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association, says: “Martin Lohse has done an outstanding job in further developing the MDC into a leading international center of excellence in biomedical research and translation. The Helmholtz Association has benefited enormously in many areas from his expertise. I wish him all the best for his future scientific work.”

The current Deputy Scientific Director, Professor Thomas Sommer, will take over the reins of the MDC on an interim basis. "I very much regret Martin Lohse’s resignation. The MDC owes him a great deal,” says Professor Sommer. “He has further strengthened the MDC’s reputation as one of the world’s leading biomedical research centers. The MDC is a magnet for top international researchers.” He aims to continue along the course already charted and to promote cooperation with the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH ).

Professor Heike Graßmann, Administrative Director of the MDC since October 2018, says: “It has been a pleasure to work with Martin Lohse, in particular on getting many new initiatives up and running. On this basis, the MDC is very well equipped for the future. I am glad that we will stay in close contact with Martin Lohse.”

Further Information

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)


The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) was founded in Berlin in 1992. It is named for the German-American physicist Max Delbrück, who was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The MDC's mission is to study molecular mechanisms in order to understand the origins of disease and thus be able to diagnose, prevent and fight it better and more effectively. In these efforts the MDC cooperates with the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) as well as with national partners such as the German Center for Cardiovascular Research and numerous international research institutions. More than 1,600 staff and guests from nearly 60 countries work at the MDC, just under 1,300 of them in scientific research. The MDC is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (90 percent) and the State of Berlin (10 percent), and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

Contact for media:

Jutta Kramm

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) 
Head of the Communications Department 

+49(0)30-9406-2140 or