As a member of the Helmholtz Association, the MDC participates in numerous intramural programs. One of these strategic activities, the 'National Cohort', is expected to provide epidemiological data for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of major diseases. The initiative aims to recruit 200,000 participants, and the MDC coordinates the Cluster Berlin-Brandenburg, which will recruit 30,000 probands.

The MDC also participates in the recent major initiative of the Ministry of Education and Research, the German Centers for Health Research. University clinics and non-university research institutes from all over the country assemble in these German Centers for Health Research, which aim to promote excellent translational research and to develop preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In addition, they provide opportunities for nationwide training of graduate and post-graduate students; disseminate health-related information to the public and promote contacts with the pharmaceutical industry. Researchers of the MDC and the Charité participate in two such centers: the ‘German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research’ and the ‘German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases’. The MDC is a founding member of a third center, the ‘German Center for Cardiovascular Research.' Within this center, MDC, Charité and the German Heart Center Berlin have established a Berlin-based consortium called ‘CardioBerlin’.

Researchers of the MDC also participate in numerous national collaborative research projects funded by the German Research Foundation and the Ministry of Education and Research. With respect to the acquisition of funding from the German Research Foundation, the MDC recently ranked second among non-university institutions in Germany.