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.

High expression of the fitness gene hFwe-Lose in the lung reliably predicts severe progression


Timed transient expression of stem cell factors enables cardiac regeneration in the mouse heart


Research team discovers crucial regenerative mechanism


Number of macrophages in tumor tissue enables prognosis of lung tumor progression


Th9/Th17 T helper cells stimulate the formation of metastases in lung tumors


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.

PhD student (f/m/d) | Endothelial, cardiac and smooth muscle biology

Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim October 20, 2021

Research Group Leaders (f/m/d) | Cardiopulmonary Institute

Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim June 09, 2021

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.


Regulation of Notch signaling dynamics by deubiquitinating enzymes

2018 Potente, Michael

Developmental Biology Genetics Physiology

The Notch signaling pathway is a highly conserved cell-cell communication mechanism that governs the development of and function of body tissues. We found that the enzyme USP10 is a novel regulator of this pathway, whose activity is particularly important for the growth of new blood vessels. Our studies revealed new insights into the molecular fundamentals of blood vessel development and could also have relevance for other physiological and pathological processes in which Notch signaling pathway plays a pivotal role.


Breath test enables early detection of lung cancer

2017 Barreto, Guillermo

Developmental Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Physiology

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer globally. One reason for this is that early signs and symptoms are unspecific and most lung tumors are recognized at an advanced stage. The Max Planck scientists have developed a test to detect lung cancer in early stages. It is based on the detection of genes that are active in tumor cells, but not in healthy lung cells.


From lung development to lung regeneration

2016 Ahlbrecht, Katrin; Morty, Rory E.; Samakovlis, Christos; Seeger, Werner

Developmental Biology Immunobiology Physiology

Impairment of gas exchange due to malformation or disruption of the alveoli represents a key hallmark of structural lung diseases. There is no curative therapy available. The recovery of an intact lung structure represents a desirable option in the development of therapeutic concepts. The current knowledge about the formation of new alveoli during lung development and during compensatory lung growth of the adult lung serves as a basis for the identification of target cells and molecules which are capable to induce the formation of new alveoli in the diseased lung.

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