The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine carries out basic biomedical research. We try to understand the causes of diseases at the molecular level, in order to better diagnose, treat and prevent them. Our aim is to transfer our findings as quickly as possible into practical applications.

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Research Highlights


The river that shapes the heart

The mechanisms that control and coordinate the development of the chambers of the heart have been a mystery. Now a recent study by Salim Seyfried’s group, published in the August issue of Developmental Cell, shows that the development of cardiac structure is linked to the beginning of blood flow during early embryonic development. This affects molecular signals in the inner tissue, called the endocardium, and guides the construction of heart chambers of different sizes.



Feeling an invisible world

Our sense of vibration is so precise that it detects structures too small to be seen with the most powerful microscopes. Kate Poole and Gary Lewin's lab have now developed a method to stimulate neurons at this tiny scale and measure the electrochemical signals they generate. In the process they discovered a protein that increases the sensitivity of neurons 10-fold. The paper appeared in a recent edition of Nature Communications.