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.

 

Contact

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

Software helps decrypt embryonic development

Forschungsmeldung April 26, 2016
Scientists from Tübingen develop new mathematical approaches and software to model the networks that control embryonic development more
Adaptation and speciation mechanisms in sticklebacks
Yearbook article 2015 from the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society more
Atomic insights into plant growth

Atomic insights into plant growth

Forschungsmeldung August 08, 2013
Researchers from Tübingen resolve how a plant steroid hormone makes plants grow more
New tasks attributed to Aurora proteins in cell division
New information from fission yeast provides clues for research on cancer treatments more
Getting to the bottom of rice

Getting to the bottom of rice

Forschungsmeldung July 23, 2009
Global rice research community provides critical tools to unravel the diversity of rice more

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. more

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. more

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. more

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. more

Plants on steroids

2013 Hothorn, Michael
Developmental Biology Structural Biology
Plants and animals independently evolved multicellularity. To orchestrate the growth and development of their tissues and organs, both kingdoms of life use hormones. The research group investigates how plant receptor proteins sense a growth-promoting steroid hormone by combining structural biology and biochemistry with genetics utilizing the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. more

The recovery of the nucleus after cell division

2012 Antonin, Wolfram
Cell Biology
The nucleus, the command center of the eukaryotic cell, is separated from the cytoplasm by the nuclear envelope. At the beginning of cell division the nuclear envelope breaks down and DNA massively condenses to form chromosomes. The chromosomes are then equally distributed to the two emerging daughter cells. After this process is completed, chromosomes decondense and a new nuclear envelope is formed. The formation of the new nuclear envelope is a complex interplay of cellular membranes and proteins which scientists at the Friedrich-Miescher-Laboratory in Tübingen now try to understand. more

New insights into cell cycle regulation

2011 Hauf, Silke
Developmental Biology
During cell division, a multitude of changes has to occur concomitantly. Kinases, which have the ability to modify proteins by adding phosphate groups, play a crucial role during this process. Researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory have examined which proteins are modified by the Aurora kinase. This kinase is crucial for proper inheritance of the genetic information during cell division, and inhibitors of this kinase are currently tested in clinical trials. Elucidating the substrates of the Aurora kinase is therefore of both scientific and clinical relevance. more

Modern methods for transcriptome reconstruction

2010 Rätsch, Gunnar; Bohnert, Regina
Genetics
The development of novel high-throughput sequencing technologies allows the determination of the complete set of RNA-transcripts expressed under a given condition. Accurate and efficient computational methods are needed to uncover the full potential of the immense amount of data that is generated by these technologies. Our research group focuses on the analyses of transcriptome data using modern „Machine Learning“ algorithms, providing a better insight into the relation of genetic information and phenotypic traits of individuals. more
DNA is packed into chromosomes. During cell division two daughter cells must receive identical sets of chromosomes containing the genetic information. Missing or extra copies of chromosomes might result in cell death and diseases, hence, complex cellular mechanisms ensure the equal distribution of genetic information during cell division. Scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory are trying to understand how the two halves of a chromosome are held together and subsequently are distributed to daughter cells. more
The nucleus, the command centre of the eukaryotic cell, is separated from the cytoplasm by the nuclear envelope. How the nuclear envelope is disassembled at the beginning of cell division and how it is reassembled at its end, is largely unknown. The process is a complex interplay of cellular membranes and proteins. Scientists at the Friedrich-Miescher-Laboratory in Tübingen try to understand the underlying mechanisms. more
When cells divide, the genomic information is duplicated and becomes symmetrically distributed to the daughter cells during division. Errors in the distribution of the genomic DNA can lead to cell death or promote tumor growth. Researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory use yeast to examine how cells ensure the extremely low error rate in the distribution of the genomic information. more
Novel technologies allow for many measurements on biological systems, leading to fast-growing amounts and variety of data. In order to tap the full potential of the available data a thorough analysis is demanded. Apart from the electronic data organisation, an efficient and automatic analysis is a great conceptual challenge. Using modern Machine Learning Methods, researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory are analysing for example the complex phenomenon of cellular messenger RNA splicing. Their particular interest is the prediction of alternative splicing and a deeper understanding of its regulation mechanisms. more
Membrane and protein transport are essential processes in the cell. Proteins have to be delivered to the correct cellular target compartment to fulfill their function. Most of the cellular organelles are surrounded by membranes in order to prevent uncontrolled mixing of their content with the cytoplasm. Communication between the organelles is mediated by vesicles that travel between different compartments. We investigate the regulation of membrane and protein traffic in different organisms. In the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we focus on the life cycle of a transport vesicle that is formed at the Golgi apparatus destined for the endoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we study membrane delivery into the division plane during cytokinesis. Cytokinesis is the last step in cell division: After DNA has been equally duplicated and distributed onto two poles, new membrane is inserted in between the poles at the plasma membrane which divides the cellular content, resulting in two cells. more
Membrane and protein transport are essential processes in the cell. Proteins have to be delivered to the correct cellular compartment where they function. Most of the cellular organelles are surrounded by membranes in order to prevent uncontrolled mixing of the content of the compartment with the cytoplasm. The communication between the organelles is mediated by vesicles that travel between different compartments. We investigate the regulation of membrane and protein traffic in different systems. In the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we focus on the life cycle of a transport vesicle that is formed at the Golgi apparatus and destined for the endoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we study the membrane delivery into the division plane during cytokinesis. Cytokinesis is the last step in cell division. After the DNA has been equally divided and has been distributed onto two poles, new membrane is inserted in between the two poles at the plasma membrane, which divides the cellular content resulting in two cells that can start a cell-cycle anew. more

Face Processing in Infancy, Development of Intuitive Physics

2004 Schwarzer, Gudrun
Cognitive Science
The research group is working on two main areas of interest of Cognitive Developmental Psychology. On the one hand , there are studies being carried out to show how children process the multitude of information in the environment and whether changes in processing occur with increasing age (Information Processing). On the other hand, we aim to find out what kind of knowledge children have in the course of development and how they acquire this (Knowledge Acquisition). more