Max Planck Institute  for Heart and Lung Research

Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research study the structure and workings of the heart, blood vessels and lungs. Among other things, their findings are intended to contribute to a better understanding of diseases in these organs and in developing of possible treatments. The scientists, for example, examine how cells in the heart, blood vessel or lung tissue communicate with each other, and which signal molecules influence their function. They also look into the question of how function can be restored to damaged tissue. Stem cells – in other words precursor cells that can grow into specialised heart, blood vessel or lung cells – are therefore another important field of research for the Institute. In the future, these stem cells could, for instance, help to minimise tissue damage in heart attack patients or people with lung disease.


Ludwigstr. 43
61231 Bad Nauheim
Phone: +49 6032 705-0
Fax: +49 6032 705-1604

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS for Molecular Organ Biology

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2023 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year


In mice reprogramming of energy metabolism restores cardiac function after infarction

Microscopic view of immune cell infiltration of lungs in mice lacking the TET3 enzyme. Compared to the lungs of control animals (left), immune cells (macrophages, colored red) accumulate in the lungs of mice lacking TET3. Cell nuclei are stained blue, smooth muscle cells green.

TET3 protects smooth muscle cells from rampant inflammatory responses


Fibrocyte driven changes to lung tissue remodeling promote tumor growth and metastasis


P2Y10 receptor promotes migration of CD4 T lymphocytes

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Scientists from 100 countries of the world work at the Max Planck Institutes. Here they write about their personal experiences and impressions. Mohamed El-Brolosy from Cairo is a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim. He talks about the cultural and structural differences between Germany and Egypt, explains the bureaucratic obstacles that can hinder research in Egypt, and describes how karate is helping him improve his German.

A Repairable Heart


Biology & Medicine

Newts possess the almost magical ability to regenerate damaged tissue, making them unique among vertebrates. Thomas Braun of the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim is studying the amphibians to learn how an organism can regrow entire organs. Perhaps one day it will help enhance the capacity for regeneration in humans.

The advances made by Werner Seeger and his team in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension mean that many patients at least live longer, with a better quality of life.

IT Generalist (m/f/d) in full-time

Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim June 20, 2024

Circadian Regulation of Cardiometabolism

2023 Dierickx, Pieterjan; Carpenter, Bryce

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Medicine Physiology

The health of the cardiovascular system depends on its ability to respond appropriately to environmental conditions. Heart disease is increasingly associated with advanced age and impaired NAD+ metabolism, both conditions that correlate with defective/altered function of circadian rhythms. Our research into the role of NAD+ in the regulation of circadian rhythms in the ageing heart opens up new avenues for therapies for age-related heart disease.


Anything beyond your DNA sequence matters 

2022 Gu, Lei

Genetics Medicine Physiology

How do behavior and environment influence genome function? We are interested in the epigenetic regulation of complex physiological and pathological phenotypes across generations. Epigenetic changes, which include proteins, RNAs, or chemical modifications to histones, RNAs, or DNA, are reversible. They do not alter the DNA sequence. They can change the way DNA sequences are read. Our laboratory combines bioinformatics, epigenomics, tumor biology, and fly genetics to identify and study the role of epigenetic modifications and their regulatory enzymes in aging, development, and disease.


Possible role of cell receptor P2Y10 for autoimmune diseases

2021 Wettschureck, Nina

Genetics Immunobiology Physiology

An important part of the immune defense is the migration of leukocytes to the site of the inflammatory stimulus. This is mediated by chemical messengers whose counterparts are receptors on the surface of immune cells. Our Team from the ”G-protein signalling group” has now explored the role of a G protein-coupled receptor called P2Y10 in CD4 T cells. Mice lacking this receptor show less pronounced autoimmune responses in experiments. The study shows that P2Y10 may play a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases. 


ATAC-seq footprinting identifies dynamic transcription factor binding

2020 Looso, Mario

Genetics Medicine Physiology

Transcription factors are key regulators of complex genetic programs such as cell maturation, differentiation, or proliferation. Due to their central role, the identification of transcription factor binding positions is crucial to understand and predict cellular fate decisions. We have developed a computational method that utilizes a chromatin-accessibility assay to survey which transcription factors are active, and which genes they activate. This approach aims to unravel transcription factors dynamics and networks. 


A critical factor of patient survival and a potential treatment strategy for angiosarcoma

2019 Riddell, Meghan; Hikita, Takao; Nakayama, Masanori

Developmental Biology Genetics Physiology

Cell polarity is a fundamental feature that is required for proper tissue function. Loss of polarity causes tissue disorganization and excessive cell growth. In highly malignant tumors, the polarity protein aPKCλ is often over-expressed and mislocalized  However, the molecular mechanisms connecting cell polarization to cell proliferation so far remained elusive. We identified a critical factor for patient prognosis and propose a novel therapeutic strategy.

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