Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine

The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine investigates the formation of cells, tissues and organs. Scientists make use of molecular-biological and cell-biological methods in a bid to discover how cells exchange information, which molecules control their behaviour and what faults in the dialogue between cells cause diseases to develop. The work of the Institute is dedicated to three closely intertwined areas. One field in which the Institute is active is stem cell research. Scientists study how stem cells can be generated and how they might be used to treat diseases. Another research area is that of inflammation processes, where one of the objectives is to fully understand the effects of blood poisoning. The third field of research is blood vessel growth, with the aim of identifying new targets for the development of therapies: blood vessels play an important role in many illnesses.


Röntgenstr. 20
48149 Münster
Phone: +49 251 70365-100
Fax: +49 251 70365-198

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS for Molecular Biomedicine

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

New long-term microscopy method shows differences to long bones


Low EphB4 and high ephrin B2 levels activate the arterial programme in the vascular cells


Artificial transcription factor reprograms cells of human and different animal species with high efficiency


An ERK-dependent molecular switch antagonizes fibrosis and promotes regeneration


Novel microelectrode array system enables long-term culture and electrophysiological analysis

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Skin cells, liver cells, neural cells – the human body is made up of various different cell types. Hans Schöler and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster have successfully turned these specialists back into generalists that are capable of cell division. These are able to produce different types of cells, and to develop into organ-like structures, for example into so-called brain organoids. The scientists use these to study basic processes in the human brain and the formation of diseases such as Parkinson’s.

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Soft meets Hard – Blood Vessels in Bone

2023 Adams, Ralf Heinrich

Cell Biology Medicine

The loss of bone mass is an important aspect of ageing and can cause a disease called osteoporosis. Research results show that blood vessels play a central role in the formation and maintenance of bone mass. While some blood vessels promote the formation of new bone, others regulate the balance between bone-forming and bone-degrading cells. Blood vessels in the skeletal system and their function change fundamentally with increasing age.


Novel protective mechanism against atherosclerosis

2022 Shirakura, Keisuke; Vestweber, Dieter

Cell Biology Infection Biology Medicine

Atherosclerosis is a degenerative disease of the vessel wall. In leaky regions of the endothelial cell layer of arteries, lipid particles enter the vessel wall and trigger plaque formation. This happens preferentially in regions where curvature and vessel junctions slow down the blood stream and cause turbulences whereas in long and straight regions, rapid and laminar blood flow protect against leaks. We have found a mechanism that explains how rapid laminar flow protects against endothelial leaks. The molecular basis of this mechanism revealed potential targets for reducing atherosclerosis.


Blood vessel formation in synthetic tissues

2021 Trappmann, Britta

Cell Biology Material Sciences Medicine

The successful application of synthetic materials for tissue engineering and regeneration depends on the ingrowth of blood vessels from the surrounding host tissue. In order to determine the required materials parameters, we have developed the first cell culture model that mimics the natural process of blood vessel formation in a synthetic tissue environment with independently tunable parameters.


The sleeping embryo

2020 Bedzhov, Ivan

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Medicine

Early stages of mammalian embryos are able to enter a naturally occurring dormant state (diapause) to slow their development during unfavorable environmental conditions. Surprisingly, we found that these seemingly “sleeping” embryos exhibit dynamic cell-cell communication and shape-shifting tissue architecture during stasis, which is required to maintain their long-term developmental potential.


How to make stem cells truly pluripotent

2019 Velychko, Sergiy; Schöler, Hans R.

Cell Biology Developmental Biology

The overexpression of four specific transcription factors allows for reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can give rise to all cell types of the adult body. We found that overexpression of one of these factors,  Oct4, causes epigenetic changes that deteriorate the quality of the resultant iPSCs. Excluding Oct4 from the reprogramming cocktail leads to iPSCs with unprecedented developmental potential.

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