Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine

Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences (previously: Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine; merged with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry from 1.01.2022) conduct basic medical research in the neurosciences and oncology. In line with the Institute's mission, "from the lab bench to the hospital bed", fundamental work in the neurosciences and clinical studies on new therapeutic approaches are combined. The scientists’ objective is to understand molecular and cellular processes in the nervous system and other organs, as well as their pathological disorders. The scientists’ findings form the basis for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that can be applied to a range of psychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia, to neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and strokes, or to cancer. For example, scientists from the Institute study the development of the brain and the molecular basis of signal transmission between nerve cells. Furthermore, their research focuses on the function of channel proteins in cell membranes and their role in the development of cancer. Numerous research groups at the Institute work on turning the findings obtained at the Institute into clinical applications.


Hermann-Rein-Str. 3
37075 Göttingen
Phone: +49 551 3899-0
Fax: +49 551 3899-389

New production or recycling of cholesterol: The duration of the disorder makes all the difference


Isoflurane could support drug delivery to the brain


The use of cannabis and alcohol during youth, experiences of abuse, urbanicity and migration increase the risk for an extreme form of multiple drug use


Undersupply of oxygen during physical and mental activity affects the entire brain


Perturbed handling of cholesterol in the brain impairs endogenous repair mechanisms


From animal models to patients: new therapies for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)

2018 Sereda, Michael W.; Fledrich, Robert; Prukop, Thomas; Stassart, Ruth; Nave, Klaus-Armin

Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology Genetics Immunobiology Infection Biology Medicine Neurosciences

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common hereditary neuropathy of the peripheral nervous system. So far no treatment is available. Using transgenic animal models, we have developed new therapeutic approaches which are currently being translated to humans, thus creating new therapeutic options for approximately 1.5 million affected CMT patients worldwide.


Activity-independent neuronal network formation in the brain

2017 Brose, Nils; Sigler, Albrecht; Imig, Cordelia; Altas, Bekir; Kawabe, Hiroshi; Cooper, Benjamin; Kwon, Hyung-Bae; Rhee, Jeong-Seop

Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Neurosciences

According to the current dogma in neuroscience, neurons in the brain must communicate actively with each other to establish functional networks. Recent results now demonstrate that neurons in a brain region that is critically involved in learning and memory processes can connect and form structurally normal networks without active signal transmission at their synaptic contact points.


The role of Kv10.1 potassium channel in cancer

2016 Stühmer, Walter; Pardo, Luis A.

Medicine Neurosciences

Ion channels are membrane proteins that regulate cellular processes by transmitting signals across membranes. Thus it is not surprising that they are also involved in cancer. In this respect, Kv10.1 is the most intensively studied potassium channel. It is overexpressed in over 70% of all cancer forms, and its expression level is up- and down-regulated during the cell cycle. This genetic regulation happens at the centre of signalling cascades involved in cancer and cell division regulation. Consequently, Kv10.1 represents a novel target for cancer treatment.


Deciphering the protein signature of chronic pain

2015 Schmidt, Manuela


Pain is a major symptom of many diseases and the worldwide number one reason for people to seek medical assistance. While acute pain subserves protective functions, chronic pain conditions present a big challenge to patients and clinicians alike. In light of these difficulties, the identification of proteins specifically involved in chronic pain states would open new avenues for designing selective and efficient therapeutical interventions.


Thought-reading: Decoding spike-based neuronal representations

2014 Gütig, Robert

Developmental Biology Evolutionary Biology Genetics Medicine Neurosciences

The question how the almost 100 billion nerve cells of the human brain represent and process sensory stimuli and thoughts is one of the most fascinating challenges in neuroscience. Contrary to common belief that nerve cells encode information by the rate of action potential firing, a growing number of experimental and theoretical accounts is strengthening alternative hypotheses that neural codes could be more refined and for instance incorporate also temporal intervals between action potentials of different neurons.

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