Berlin Skyline

MDC at the Berlin Science Week

1 - 10 November, 2019


From 1 to 10 November 2019, researchers will gather in Berlin to discuss current issues - with each other and with the public. The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) will be contributing to exciting events.

Cooking for Microbiome

November 1: Science meets Art-of-Cooking or how to eat for health

Friday, November 1, 2019, 5 - 10 p.m.

The human body is an ecosystem: trillions of microorganisms inhabit our gut, skin and all other exposed parts. Our microbial roommates, the microbiome, make crucial and nowadays finally slowly understood contributions to keeping us healthy. They help to digest food, produce vitamins, and train the immune system. In addition, their very presence helps stem the spread of pathogens. But only as long as we keep them happy. Antibiotic treatments and diet have a huge impact on this microcosm.

How does this work? Who inhabits us and why? Can we cook for a healthy microbiome? And how can we use microorganisms to cook?

Join us for an evening of Science meets Art-of-Cooking at Pastamadre, where MDC-scientists join forces with fermentation artisans to bring you the latest from microbiome research, food chemistry and healthy eating. We talk, you cook, we eat and discuss together.

Cooks & Scientists

  • Dr. Sofia Forslund
  • Maria-Lucrezia Schiavarelli
  • Theda Bartolomaeus
  • Dr. Akis Liokatis


Prior registration is required. Costs: 29€, dinner and drinks included.

Register now


Groninger Str. 48
13347 Berlin

The Bear – True stories. Erzähltes Leben

November 1: Stories of discovery

Friday, November 1 2019, 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Scientists leave the lab and enter the limelight with true, personal stories about their mishaps, mistakes, and moments of truth. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always entertaining. Keeping with The Bear format, tales are told without notes or slides.


Christinenstraße 18/19
10119 Berlin

Facebook event page

I know something you don’t know

November 2: Science Slam of a LifeTime: a game show for those thirsty for knowledge

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

One organism - billions of cells. How much do you know about the smallest units of yourself? How are our cells developing, what are they developing into and why do some develop diseases while most stay healthy? 

In the Science Slam of a LifeTime, our researchers from the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the MDC Berlin surprise you with interesting and relevant facts about what you are made of. In our version of a science slam you are the judge: which researcher told you something truly new? And is this new knowledge relevant to you? In the end we’re all winners having found out what scientists are doing today to know more and how they use this knowledge for the benefit of us all.

The evening is organized by LifeTime, a pan-European research initiative coordinated by the MDC Berlin and the Institut Curie in Paris. 


  • Dr. Luiza Bengtsson
  • Angélica García Pérez
  • Karla Hajman
  • Bo Hu
  • Zoe Ingram
  • Rieke Kempfer
  • Jorge Martins 
  • Marco Uhrig
  • Dr. Emanuel Wyler


Registration closed

Facebook event page


Umspannwerk Ost
Palisadenstraße 48
10243 Berlin

Open Science Workshop

November 4: Why Everyone Should Care About Open Science

Monday, November 4, 2019, 6 - 8 p.m.

Open Science is about putting more science in society and more society in science, but how does it work and what does it mean for you? 

Open Science concepts and tools have the potential to transform the current scientific system for the greater good of all, but how can scientists and society actually benefit from the Open Science movement? 

This workshop will establish what Open Science is and why it is needed. There will be an overview of the main areas of Open Science: Open Access, Open Data, Public Engagement and Citizen Science. In addition, there will be some practical tips how research can be made open and how scientists and non-scientists can make use of Open Science materials. Following this there will be an interactive discussion game that promotes participants to exchange their own opinions and ideas about the underlying issues in modern science. The session is organised by the EU-funded ORION Open Science project and the Berlin Natural History Museum.

The session will last 2 hours and drinks will be served. The session is suitable for those with very little or basic knowledge of Open Science.


Registration now


MDC Berlin-Mitte (BIMSB)
Hannoversche Str. 28
10115 Berlin

A debate about animal testing

November 5: Absolutely necessary or outdated long ago? Discuss animal testing with Berlin researchers and animal welfare officers!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

The members of the Berlin officers for animal welfare (Arbeitskreis Berliner Tierschutzbeauftragte) would like to discuss with the interested general public why animal testing is still of significance for medical progress and how our lives would be affected without it.  Four scientists will briefly discuss the animal testing that they perform and what significance it has for their work.  The audience will be invited to the panel discussion afterwards to debate if and how an alternative method might replace an animal experiment, or why it cannot.


  • Prof. Dr. Anja Erika Hauser, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Deutschen Rheuma-Forschungszentrum
  • Dr. Thomas Kammertöns, MDC Berlin and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • PD Dr. Robert Landsiedel, BASF and Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Christa Thöne-Reineke, Freie Universität Berlin

The event will be hosted by Berlin science journalist Lilo Berg.


Register now


Urania Berlin
An der Urania 17
10787 Berlin

Springer Nature: The Future of Precision Oncology

November 6: Translating big data, machine learning and biology to the clinic

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 3 p.m.

Research and medicine have not been excluded from the computerization of our society – rapid technological advances in preclinical and clinical cancer research generate complex and diverse large-scale data, but storing, curating and analyzing this information is a task beyond the capacity of individual researchers, clinicians and often single institutes and hospitals. To that end, machine learning holds the promise to revolutionize cancer research and clinical practice. In this panel we will debate what machine learning means for precision oncology. We discuss the opportunities it offers for improving diagnostic means, therapeutic discovery and prediction of risk and treatment response. We also consider the challenges of integrating big data into cancer research to ensure that fundamental biological and preclinical findings can be translated to the clinic without delay. Does the future of precision oncology mean fully embracing data science and artificial intelligence and where does this mean for the individual researcher, clinician and patient?

The panel discussion will be moderated by Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou, the Chief Editor of Nature Cancer, a new online-only journal launching in January 2019, publishing the most significant advances across the full spectrum of cancer research in the life, physical, applied and social sciences, spanning basic preclinical, translational and clinical work.


•             Prof. Dr. Angelika Eggert, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
•             Prof. Dr. Roland Eils, Berlin Institute of Health
•             Prof. Dr. Christine Sers, Charité – Universitätsmedizin

•             Prof. Dr. Clemens Schmitt, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin


Participants are invited to a reception afterwards. The event is free of charge but registration is required due to the limited number of available places.

Register now


Springer Nature
Heidelberger Platz 3
14197 Berlin

"Mind the Lab"

November 7: Experiments on single cell biology technologies

Thursday, November 7 2019, 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

"Mind the Lab" will be the motto in five Berlin underground stations, where researchers from various institutes will present exciting insights into science in pop-up laboratories. The MDC will also be there, you will meet our researchers at Alexanderplatz station (U-Bahnhof). There, the LifeTime initiative, coordinated by the MDC, showcases groundbreaking single cell biology technologies in simple experiments. Scientists will also present their work with organoids, those tiny, self-organized three-dimensional tissue cultures that could change how we diagnose and treat diseases.

Organoids in a petri dish.


Alexanderplatz underground station, Berlin

Soapbox Science 

November 7: This novel public outreach platform promotes women scientists and transforms public spaces into arenas for learning and scientific debate. ​​​​​​

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Female researchers will step onto their soapboxes to give talks to the public.


  • Julia Markowski (Eine Erbinformation - viele Zelltypen. Wie durch die räumliche Organisation der DNA ein Mensch entsteht, 4 p.m.)
  • Olivia Debnath (The Cell Society: A tale of the protagonists in health & disease, 5 p.m.)
  • Dubravka Vucicevic (Genome engineering - CRISPR revolution, 5p.m.)


U Alexanderplatz


  • Inga Patarcic (4p.m.)


U Möckernbrücke


Future Medicine 2019

November 7: Berlin's Most Exciting Medical Research Congress

Thursday, November 7 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

​​​​What does the future of medicine look like? What's trending? What's new in health science? Which challanges is the health system facing? Learn about the answers to these questions and more at the fourth Future Medicine Conference.

This year's focus: Translational Medicine

  • Single Cells in Translational Research
  • Smart Data and Translational Medicine
  • Translational Cancer Research


Register now


Karl-Marx-Allee 131A
10243 Berlin

Who wants to know better?

November 8: Renowned Scientists present hot research topics with real and „alternative“ facts in a novel science entertainment format: The Real-or-Fake-Show!

Friday, November 8, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

In times of real and self-proclaimed experts – who knows how to distinguish the “alternative facts” from the scientific facts? How do you train a critical awareness of the manipulability of scientific results – especially among young audiences?
Answer: Playful. You trick your audience deliberately, but only sometimes…

In the interactive, “scientific Real or Fake-Show”, renowned researchers present exciting topics from their fields of expertise in genetics, geoscience, medicine etc. enticing the audience to be enlightened or tricked. They either present fact-based stories that may sound too bizarre to be believed. Or they deliberately trick the audience with their cheeky but melodious false reports. The critical audience discusses, votes on the credibility and is then surprised by the resolution. Whether one is inspired by current research topics and the job description “scientist”, or whether one is practicing to recognize a swindle – in the end everyone comes out a bit more factual.

The event will take place at the Lilienthal-Gymnasium.

Presented by the BesserWissen e.V.


Ringstraße 2-3
12203 Berlin

Teacher training: Organoids of the human brain (aka mini-brain) and the regulation of gene expression

November 8: Experience the state of the art in science and receive valuable information about current trends in life science research.

Friday, November 8, 2019, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Textbooks teach "from DNA to RNA to protein", but this dogma is now long obsolete. MDC researchers are investigating the function of non-coding RNAs in neurons, using as a model a human brain grown in a Petri dish, a so-called brain-organoid or mini-brain. Through experiments, demonstrations and lectures you will experience the state of the art in science and receive valuable information about current trends in life science research.

The training takes place in the group of Prof. Dr. Rajewsky, Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements, and is part of the program for Schule MIT Wissenschaft conference.

Target group: High school teachers


  • Dr. Agnieszka Rybak-Wolf
  • Janis Hötzel


Registration via email to


MDC Berlin-Mitte (BIMSB), Rajewsky Lab​​​​​
Hannoversche Str. 28
10115 Berlin

Schule MIT Wissenschaft

November 8 - 10: „Inspiring Inspirors“ - top-class advanced training for teachers of natural sciences and technology.

November 8 - 10, 2019, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

 “Inspiring Inspirers” is the motto of MIT Club of Germany’s Schule MIT Wissenschaft (SMW). It is a program designed for secondary-school STEM teachers from all over Germany. At the annual SMW conference, teachers attend an intensive training program consisting of workshops and talks given by high profile scientists and professionals from a broad spectrum of areas in science and technology.

Lectures: Outstanding speakers will present the most recent developments in their respective areas of research, and with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. As keynote speakers, we envisage professionals at the highest levels including Nobel Laureates. In addition, a crucial component of each program are presentations by faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Workshops: Through hands-on experiences in workshops, participants will learn how current topics in science can be translated into a school day.

Exchange: One of the great advantages that SMW offers to German educators is bringing together teachers from all the various federal states, each of which has its own self-contained educational system. The SMW experience not only fosters an exchange of intellectual content but also of pedagogical approaches for improving STEM education in all regions of Germany. The ultimate goal of SMW is the establishment of a nationwide network of teachers and scientists.

Schule MIT Wissenschaft (School MIT Science) plays on the German word “mit” (with) with its obvious resemblance to MIT. In the name Schule MIT Wissenschaft, the double meaning is made clear by the use of capital letters.


Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt ​​​Institut Berlin Abbestraße 2-12
10587 Berlin

ÆON. Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR

November 9 - 29: Would you take daily inhalations to stay young? An artwork about a possible future.

Their gestures betray that they are a couple. An embrace, a touch at the dinner table, a look in the eyes. And yet one is puzzled. The woman has almost white hair, and her skin is furrowed with wrinkles. The man, on the other hand, looks as if he’s in his mid-30s. What separates the two is not the number of years they have lived, but the decisions they have made. For decades now, the man has been preserving his youth through inhalations. The woman has let nature take its course.

Technologies like genome editing make longevity seem attainable. Finnish artist Emilia Tikka is interested in what this would mean for society. In her work “ÆON. Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR,” she constructs a poetic scenario of a possible future. The installation is exhibited at MDC-Mitte in November.

ÆON is the result of the first European artist residency on genome editing. In 2018, Tikka spent three months in MDC labs, collaborating with researchers to find out how CRISPR could change our world. The residency was initiated by the Max Delbrück Center, together with STATE. It was funded by the EU project ORION as a first step to initiate a dialogue with citizens on CRISPR.

No registration required, please ask at the reception desk for the artwork.


MDC Berlin-Mitte (BIMSB)
Hannoversche Str. 28
10115 Berlin


Cooking with microbiomes, discussing animal experiments, learning new things from research: The MDC offers opportunities throughout Berlin to experience science and scientists.


© Antje Dombrowsky / Berlin Partner