Berlin Skyline

MDC at the Berlin Science Week

1 - 10 November, 2020


From 1 to 10 November 2020, 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, online and on site.


November 2: An Art-Science Discourse on the interactions between Science, Art and Society

Monday, November 2, 2020, 5 - 6 p.m.

In a digital fishbowl talk, the nucleus of STADTMASCHINE KUNST is to be crystallized: How can the discourse between artists, scientists and users about art and research be physically shaped?

The laboratory STADTMASCHINE KUNST @MDC is working on improving science communication with the means of the visual arts: the complex research contents are to be made visually tangible with the involvement of society.

Where are the opportunities, where are the limits of this experiment? What should the STADTMASCHINE KUNST look like in concrete terms so that research, art and society can interact? We invite you to discuss with us!

In this fishbowl discussion of the initiative STADTMASCHINE KUNST at the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin you can exchange ideas with artists and scientists about their respective work as well as explore the interfaces that leads to a concrete, unconventional and cross-border STADTMASCHINE KUNST.

Jean Tinguely: Grosse Méta-Maxi-Maxi-Utopia-Méta-Harmonie, 1987


  • Veronika Christine Dräxler (Media artist – performer - author at Initiative STADTMASCHINE KUNST bei der Stiftung Zukunft Berlin)
  • Thom Kubli (Artist and composer at Initiative STADTMASCHINE KUNST bei der Stiftung Zukunft Berlin)
  • Jan Kage (Curator – Moderator – Musician at Initiative STADTMASCHINE KUNST bei der Stiftung Zukunft Berlin)
  • Prof. Uwe Ohler (Head of the Computational Regulatory Genomics lab at the MDC)
  • Ian Erik Stewart (PhD Student at the MDC / Executive Curator at EDGE: Bluring the Borders between Art and Neuroscience e.V.)
  • Dr. Med. Anton Henssen (Cancer biologist, pediatric oncology fellow and conceptual artist at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ) of the MDC Berlin and Charité Berlin
  • Jovana Popic (Artist, PhD-Student at Initiative STADTMASCHINE KUNST bei der Stiftung Zukunft Berlin)

Registration required

Free entry. Please register by 02.11.2020 via our webform to receive ZOOM meeting logIn details.

Further information


How much working from home can research take?

November 2: Using the crisis creatively: researchers discuss pros and cons of new working styles triggerd by corona.

Monday, November 2, 2020, 5 - 6:30 p.m.

The pandemic has been an exceptional situation for everyone. All but essential laboratory activities were temporarily suspended, a number of childcare centers and schools had to close, and lots of work was – and is still being – done remotely at home. But how much social distancing can science – which requires constant discussion and exchange – take?  The founding coordinators of BR 50, an association of Berlin non-university research institutions, are hosting an event to examine this issue and explore questions such as: What has worked well and what would be done differently? What do researchers want to preserve for the future? What conditions are problematic for young researchers in particular?

(Online event in German language)



  • Prof., Dr. h.c., Ph.D. Jutta Allmendinger (President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Sommer (Scientific Director (interim) of the MDC)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hintermüller (Director of the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, Leibniz Institute in Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne (Presiedent of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM))
  • Felix Fehlhaber, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK)
  • Dr. med. Dr. phil. Eva Friedel, Senior physician at the Charité –Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Clinician Scientist at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
  • Dr. Edda Schulz, Lise-Meitner-Groupleader am Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG)

Further information


Real or Fake? A science show for the critical thinking.

November 2: Scientists present hot research topics with real and alternative facts in a novel science entertainment format: The Real-or-Fake-Show.

Monday, November 2, 2020, 8 - 9:30 p.m.

In times of real and self-proclaimed experts – how does one know how to distinguish between the alternative facts and the truth? How can we train a critical awareness of the manipulability of scientific results without preaching?

Answer: Playfully. You trick your audience deliberately, but only sometimes.

In the interactive, scientific Real or Fake-Show, scientists 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.

Presented by BesserWissen e.V.


  • Anita Waltho (Scientist in the Sommer lab at the MDC)
  • Dr. Bradley Allen Weymer (Postdoctoral researcher/Project Leader - SMART at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research)
  • Prof. Claudia Mohr (Department of Environmental Science (ACES),  Stockholm University, Sweden)
  • Dr. Daniela Kern-Michler (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
  • Tobias Löffler (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf)
  • Dr. Luiza Bengtsson (Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange at the MDC / CEO BesserWissen e.V.)


Free entry. Registration required:

Further information


Artificial Intelligence, Organoids, Animal Models – new concepts in biomedicine

November 3: What are the most promising ways to develop therapies for patients? Our experts report and answer your questions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, 6 - 8 p.m.

There is more than one way to explore new therapies for patients. Here, we present and discuss examples from the MDC research portfolio that combine various strategies and technologies: from artificial intelligence (AI) and omics technologies to organoids and human tissue samples as well as animal models, the 3R principles and clinical research. And we present what our new preclinical research center PRC has to do with it.

Our experts report and answer your questions in the chat.

(Online event in German language)

Event link

With the help of mini organs - such as brain organoids here - the techniques of single cell analysis can also be applied to human tissue. Researchers can see how human cells mature in the course of life, how tissue regenerates and which changes lead to diseases.


  • Moderator: Volkart Wildermuth
  • Prof. Thomas Sommer (Scientific Director (interim) of the MDC)
  • Prof. Michael Gotthardt (Head Research Group “Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Cell Biology” at the MDC)
  • Dr. Uta Höpken (Group Leader “Microenvironmental Regulation in Autoimmunity and Cancer” at the MDC)
  • Dr. Agnieszka Rybak-Wolf (Head Technology Plattform Organoids at the MDC)
  • Dr. Claudia Gösele (Animal Welfare Officer, Head Animal Husbandry PRC at the MDC)
  • Dr. Arnd Heuser (Head of the MDC Animal Phenotyping Platform at the MDC)


Please register for the event until November 2, 5 pm.
You will receive your access link to the online event a week before the event via email.

Open Science Café

November 4: An afternoon of bite-sized microlearnings on all things Open Science.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020, 2 - 7 p.m.

Have you heard of Open Science and wondered what it is? Or is there an Open Science topic you wish you knew more about? Join us for an afternoon of bite-sized events at the online Open Science Café. For five hours, we are serving up a rolling series of twenty-minute micro-talks and activities about Open Science. Drop in and have a coffee while you get a quick snack of knowledge about how to make different aspects of research transparent, accessible, and usable for all. Or stay for the whole afternoon and become an Open Science expert.

Event link

The Open Science microlearnings will be served by the graduates of the train-the-trainer course from the ORION Open Science project, hosted at the MDC.


This is a digital event. If you would like to attend please book your spot here. The access to the event will be provided after registration.

Timetable of the microlearnings 

There will be two 20 min sessions per hour, on the hour and half past the hour, with 10 min breaks in between. Participants can join at any time.

  • 14:00 – Open Science: A History
  • 14.30 – Citizen Science
  • 15.00 – ‘SMOVE’: A Citizen Science Project
  • 15.30 – Open Data
  • 16.00 – Open Research Data Fears and Challenges
  • 16:30 – Open Content and Licensing
  • 17:00 – Open Hardware
  • 17:30 – Open Source
  • 18:00 – Open Access
  • 18:30 – Science Communication
  • 19:00 – End



LifeTime and a future without disease

November 5: Take a brave journey into a future without diseases in a virtual live performance organized by the LifeTime Initiative and The Future Game 2050.

Thursday, November 5, 2020, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Is a future without diseases possible? In a virtual performance we explore what our lives would look like in a world where the LifeTime Initiative was successfully implemented. In a live event, LifeTime and The Future Game 2050 engage participants to create their own future scenarios and invite them on a brave journey into a future where life without diseases became reality. The immersive experience will be accompanied by expert interviews who look at this future scenario from different angles.

Join our Livestream via Youtube with real time feedback from viewers and other interactive elements.

Event link


  • Prof. Nikolaus Rajewsky (Director, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology at the MDC Berlin and Vice-Director, MDC Berlin)
  • Dr. Agnieszka Rybak-Wolf (Head of Organoid Platform at the MDC)
  • Dr. Emanuel Wyler (Scientist at the MDC)
  • Friederike Riemer (Co-founder of „The Future Game 2050“)
  • Felix M. Wieduwilt (Co-founder of „The Future Game 2050“)

Reality-TV – a day in a biomedical lab

November 6: A day full of science, fun and exciting people: we offer an unscripted insight into our laboratories.

Friday, November 6, 2020, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

We will show you what a regular working day in our laboratories looks like, through a full day of live broadcast. MDC scientists explain what they do, how and why, while you look over their shoulders as they perform their experiments. The audience can ask questions, which we answer either live or during one of the Q&A coffee breaks. These may be questions about our research, but also about education and career paths in science. In-between there will be live music and TikToks and much more – simply the daily life in a biomedical laboratory! This event will be held in German and English. Suitable for children.

In cooperation with Wissenschaft im Dialog.

Further information


  • Dr. Emanuel Wyler (Postdoc at the MDC)
  • Janita Mintcheva (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Anika Neuschulz (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Nora Fresmann (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Dr. Andreas Ofenbauer (Postdoc at the MDC)
  • Jonas Peters (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Marco Uhrig (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Karla Hajman (Musician, satirist, science slammer)
  • Dr. Luiza Bengtsson (Public Engagement and knowledge transfer at the MDC)


09:00 - Welcome to the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine!

09:10 - Live Stream* from the Markus Landthaler Lab: (also corona research)

12:00 - What can we learn from fish: research from the Philipp Junker lab:

12:15 - Live Q&A

12:45 - Impressions from other MDC labs

12:00 - Live Stream from the Markus Landthaler Lab: (also corona research)

13:00 - Career Pathways: Conversations with people working in science – we will also hear from the board of directors

13:30 - Live Stream from the Markus Landthaler Lab: (also corona research)

14:00 - Music from the lab: Sterochemistry and Prof. Uwe Ohler perform together

14:20 - Impressions from other MDC labs

14:50 - Live Stream from the Nikolaus Rajewsky Lab: (also corona research)

16:30 - Live Q&A

17:00 - Live Stream from the Nikolaus Rajewsky Lab: (also corona research)

17:30 - Lab Olympics

17:45 - Live Stream from the Nikolaus Rajewsky Lab: (also corona research)

18:00 - The End

*In the livestream we show you experiments, explain lab equipment and answer your questions

Can Cell-Based Interceptive Medicine Revolutionize Healthcare?

November 6: Digital broadcast and free for everyone! Don’t miss how international leaders in science, business and politics tackle the world’s biggest challenges — free to watch online.

Friday, November 6, 2020, 6 - 7 p.m.
Rudolf Virchow, whose 200th birthday we will celebrate in 2021, made the revolutionary discovery that “diseases are based on disorders of the body’s cells”. The Berlin Charité pathologist first realized that we must understand the inner workings of human cells to diagnose and treat diseases. How right he was, the past decades have shown: we now know that even small alterations in one or a few cells can, following multiple rounds of division and selection, give rise to life threating diseases such as cancer. Dealing with a complex disease like that is difficult, curing often impossible. If only we recognized the alterations early enough, removing the disoriented cell would be an easy fix. Or maybe we could even push it back to health on its original path.
A growing community of scientists and clinicians who have the support of numerous organizations believe that new digital and biomedical technologies will allow us to zoom in further on the origin of diseases. Will this put us at a crossroads to fundamentally revamp medicine and our healthcare systems or is it just a futuristic dream?
Falling Walls Circle Tables will give the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

Further information


  • Dr. Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou (Francis Crick Institute)
  • Professor Stefanie Dimmeler (University of Frankfurt)
  • Professor Angelika Eggert (Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin)
  • Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky (BIMSB, MDC)
  • Professor Bart De Strooper (UK-Dementia Research Institute)

Digital Future Medicine Science Match 

November 7: 80 top international scientists are talking about artificial Intelligence in translational medicine.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Digital Future Medicine Science Match is a huge event that brings together 800 participants. The one-day programme has 80 top international scientists, who will present the top achievements in translational medicine in 3-minute lectures and keynote. The topic this year is Artificial Intelligence in Translational Medicine. 

As part of this event, Dr Roland Schwarz, from the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, will be chairing a session that explores AI and Basic Medical Research. Roland Schwarz’s lab develops and applies computational methods for understanding tumour heterogeneity and cancer evolution, so he will bring together range of innovative and exciting speakers on the topic. They will be among the physicians, health care experts, researchers, politicians, developers, engineers, innovators, industry, entrepreneurs, investors who will be taking part.. 

The event is organised by Berlin’s newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).

Further information and registration

***Canceled***New ways in biomedicine: SARS-Cov-2 research

November 9: What changes does the SARS-Cov-2 infection inflict on cells and how does this affect the course of the disease?

Canceled: Due to Corona regulations, the event cannot take place in the planetarium. On December 9th, the lecture will take place during the Laboratory meets Teacher (LTL) event "SARS-Cov-2-Forschung: Zellveränderungen bei Infektion und daraus entstehende unterschiedliche Krankheitsverläufe". More information in the LTL course program.

Cell changes during infection and resulting different disease courses

The SARS-Cov-2 virus is currently concerning the entire world and affecting our daily lives. Research in Berlin is also running at full speed. The MDC scientist Dr. Emanuel Wyler is investigating the changes in various cells and organoids during an infection. He is investigating the question: What changes take place in infected cells and what contributes to a mild or severe or mild disease progression? The changes in an infected cell can vary from cell type to cell type. The models studied include pieces of the lung, different organoids and cell lines. Suitable for children. Event in German language.

Dr. Emanuel Wyler is a molecular biologist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the research group "RNA Biology and Posttranscriptional Regulation”. He throws big data experiments at viruses to study their interaction with human cells.

Further information
Twitter: @ewyler

Event link


Free admission. Registration required:

Organoids of the human brain alias "mini-brains" as tools for research into diseases of the nervous system

November 11: In this advanced teacher-training course you will experience the state of the art in science and receive valuable information about current trends in life science research - this time about mini 3D cell cultures of the brain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Organoids are 3D cultures of stem cells that represent the cellular complexity and functionality of human organs in vitro. By using organoids, researchers gain deeper insights into the crucial cellular processes involved in tissue and organ formation as well as pathological processes in vitro. As the human brain is unique, and even primate models do not accurately represent the formation of neurological diseases of the human brain, the development of so-called mini-brains is a major breakthrough. In this course we would like to introduce you to the basics of the mini-brain, its application and limitations. (Online event in German language)

Event link

The training takes place in the research group of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Rajewsky: Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements, as part of a series of training courses “Lab meets teacher - digital!”.


  • Dr. Agnieszka Rybak-Wolf (Head of Technology Platform Organoids)
  • Miriam Wandres (PhD student at the MDC)
  • Dr. Anna Löwa (Postdoc at the MDC)
  • Dr. Luiza Bengtsson (Head of “Labor trifft Lehrer”)


Please register now


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

Falling Walls

November 1 - 10

Falling Walls and Berlin Science Week are once again organising the World Science Summit, which will be held remotely from 1 – 10 November 2020. This year there is a shift from physical events to a global virtual showcase, with free digital access for everyone. The aim of the summit is to acknowledge the some of the world’s best researchers and celebrate the most recent breakthroughs in science and society from all over the world.

Five people from the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine have been nominated:

  1. Professor Norbert Huebner in the category Life Sciences, for his work on translational landscape of the human heart.
  2. Ian Erik Stewart (AG Poulet) in the category of Science in The Arts, for EDGE which brings Neuroscience to the public through art.
  3. Tobias Opialla (AG Kempa) in the category of Science and Innovation Management, for his work on Lab Hive, an online tool for matching lab resources during the pandemic.
  4. Katrina Meyer (AG Selbach) in the category of Emerging Talents, for her discovery of a novel disease mechanism.
  5. Dr Luiza Bengtsson in the category of Science Engagement Initiatives, for her development of “Real or Fake”, an interactive quiz where the public decide whether the science presented by researchers is genuine or not.

In the category "Science and Innovation Management" MDC finalist Tobias Opialla is among the Top 10 and will present his concept at the Winner's Session on November 5th. Ian Erik Steward and Luiza Bengtsson also made it to the Final. Learn more about the other breakthroughs from the 1st to the 10th November 2020, with a daily science highlight programme at Noon GMT (13.00 Berlin Time) and the Grand Finale will be live streamed at Noon GMT (13.00 Berlin Time) on 9 November 2020 and will showcase the 10 Breakthroughs of the Year.

The full programme includes: 500+ speakers, 200+ sessions, 1 digital platform with live-streamed breakthroughs, expert panels, workshops and lectures.

Further information



© Antje Dombrowsky / Berlin Partner