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 9
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.

Uncovering the secrets of adapting to a new habitat


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


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


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


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


Computer-based design of novel signaling molecules with improved properties

2019 ElGamacy, Mohammad; Müller, Patrick

Cell Biology Evolutionary Biology

We use an interdisciplinary approach combining computational chemistry, biophysics, and developmental biology to create new signaling activators and inhibitors. We have designed novel hematopoietic growth factors and antagonists of cancer-relevant signals, and their structures are in atomic-level agreement with our theoretical predictions. Strikingly, the growth factors are highly active and can induce the differentiation of blood cells in living zebrafish embryos. This strategy holds great promise to engineer signaling molecules with novel functionalities for future clinical applications.


The molecular basis of recombination variation using linked-read sequencing technology

2018 Dreau, Andreea; Venu, Vrinda; Gaspar, Ludmila; Jones, Felicity C.

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology Structural Biology

Genetic variation is the basis of biodiversity, and is the key substrate of evolution. We are studying meiotic recombination, a key source of genetic variation, to elucidate on the role it plays while organisms adapt to new environments. Using linked-read genome sequencing technology, we have developed a method of studying recombination in individuals, and are using this to identify its molecular basis. Research on this fundamental process has implications for our understanding of first trimester abortion, genome function and how molecular mechanisms shape evolution in natural populations.


Regulation of DNA break formation and repair in meiosis

2017 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

2016 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

2015 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.

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