Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory (FML) was established by the Max Planck Society in 1969 to support young scientists. It offers outstanding young researchers the opportunity, over a period of several years, to set up a research group, follow their own research ideas and start an independent career. The scientists in the individual groups share the laboratory equipment and jointly undertake the organisation of the laboratory. The research topics at the FML are diverse, and change with the appointment of new group leaders. The four research groups currently working at the FML want to understand how genetic information is stored on the DNA and how it is reliably inherited. The FML is part of the Max Planck Campus in Tübingen and there are close ties with the neighbouring Max Planck Institutes for Developmental Biology and Biological Cybernetics.



Max-Planck-Ring 6
72076 Tübingen
Phone: +49 7071 601-800
Fax: +49 7071 601-801

PhD opportunities

This institute has no International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

There is always the possibility to do a PhD. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Software helps decrypt embryonic development

Scientists from Tübingen develop new mathematical approaches and software to model the networks that control embryonic development

Adaptation and speciation mechanisms in sticklebacks

Yearbook article 2015 from the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Atomic insights into plant growth

Researchers from Tübingen resolve how a plant steroid hormone makes plants grow

New tasks attributed to Aurora proteins in cell division

New information from fission yeast provides clues for research on cancer treatments

Getting to the bottom of rice

Global rice research community provides critical tools to unravel the diversity of rice


Regulation of DNA break formation and repair in meiosis

2018 Weir, John

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Structural Biology

Sexual reproduction requires the generation of special cells called gametes, i.e. eggs and sperms, which carry half the genome of the parent. Meiosis is the process by which the parental genome is divided. In order to segregate the genome in a controlled way, novel linkages between sequentially similar chromosomes need to be created. Linkages are made by making programmed breaks in the DNA, followed by controlled repair of these breaks. Understanding the process of breakage and repair in detail at the molecular level will provide new insights into human fertility and genetic diseases.


Breaking species barriers by breeding mice in a dish

2017 Chan, Frank

Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology

How species differ from each other is a key question in biology. But genetic mapping between species has been challenging, because hybrid crosses are typically sterile. Combining latest stem cell and genomic techniques, the research group has pioneered in vitro recombination to circumvent breeding and directly cause gene exchanges in cells. In this way they have mapped differences between mouse species within weeks and created mouse embryos carrying hybrid mosaic genomes. By circumventing species barriers that prevent interbreeding this work sheds light on the genetic basis of trait variation.


Pattern formation: How a cell is transformed into an animal

2016 Müller, Patrick

Developmental Biology

The Max Planck Research Group Systems Biology of Development studies how signaling molecules transform a ball of cells into a patterned animal embryo. The scientists use an interdisciplinary approach combining genetics, biophysics, mathematics, and computer sciences. The results may help inform new regenerative medicine approaches for the generation of tissues from stem cells.


Adaptation and speciation in stickleback fish

2015 Jones, Felicity

Evolutionary Biology Genetics

Organisms across the world show unique adaptations that enable them to survive and flourish in distinct environments. Researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory are studying stickleback fish to unravel the genetic changes which allow organisms to adapt and speciate in new environments. Marine sticklebacks have undergone an adaptive radiation with freshwater forms evolving repeatedly and independently at many different places. Using these powerful replicates of the evolutionary process, research is identifying the common molecular changes underlying adaptation and speciation.


Large mice on small islands

2014 Chan, Yingguang Frank

Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology

House mice from the Faroe Islands are among the largest mice in the world. Researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory try to understand how they come to settle in the Faroe and how they have evolved island gigantism so rapidly in the last thousand years by sieving through their genomes. Hidden in the tapestry of the mouse DNA is a complex history resulting from hundreds of years of mixing between mouse subtypes. Efforts are now underway to uncover the genetics of island gigantism.

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