A copying machine for genes

Nothing works with incomprehensible code – not even a cell. Patrick Cramer is carrying out research on the enzyme that transcribes the DNA code to enable a protein to be synthesized from a gene. In this endeavour, he relies on high-resolution microscopes and artificial intelligence. more

How the coronavirus multiplies its genetic material

When a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen multiplies rapidly in their cells. To do this, the virus must replicate its genetic material. This task is carried out by the viral RNA polymerase. Researchers led by Patrick Cramer have deciphered the 3D structure of this “copy machine”.

Research news

Nature-inspired compounds chop up cancer gene’s RNA
Resarchers have found new possibilities for targeting cancer genes’ RNA with nature-inspired compounds

African smoke over the Amazon
At certain times in the year, more soot particles reach the Amazon rainforest from bush fires in Africa than from regional fires.

Young woman kissing old woman on forehead
A study in Sweden shows: Many elderly people need intensive care in the year before they die

75 years Max Planck Society

“Courage to implement cultural change”
An interview with Birgit Kolboske, historian at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science  about her book “Hierarchies. Gender Trouble and the Harnack Principle: Women in the Max Planck Society”

A logo and its history
From the portrait of the emperor to the goddess of wisdom - the trademark of the Max Planck Society has a varied history

This is a portrait of Steffen Schroeder, wearning a black T-shirt. Born in Munich in 1974, Schroeder has performed on the stage of Vienna’s “Burgtheater”, was a member of the “Berliner Ensemble” and has acted in many films and TV series. The novel “Planck oder Als das Licht seine Leichtigkeit verlor” (Planck or When the light lost its lightness) is his third book. Steffen Schroeder has three adult children and lives with his wife in Potsdam.
Interview with actor and author Steffen Schroeder on his family ties to Max Planck and his novel “Planck oder Als das Licht seine Leichtigkeit verlor” (Planck or When the light lost its lightness)

Recruitment programs & job offers

Lise Meitner Excellence Program
Since 2018, up to ten Lise Meitner Groups per year will be advertised to recruit and promote exceptionally qualified female scientists as part of this new excellence program.

The path to a doctorate
When it comes to training and supporting doctoral students, Max Planck institutes have a wealth of experience to call on. They cooperate closely with the universities through which the doctorates are officially awarded.

Job Offers

PhD student, Postdoc, Research Associate (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne
June 02, 2023

Student Assistant (m/f/d) | Interpersonal Synchrony Analysis Project

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen site, Tübingen
June 01, 2023

Student assistant (m/f/d) | Grévy’s Zebra Dataset project

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen site, Tübingen
June 01, 2023


Talent Companion
Research is calling - We promote pioneers in science
MaxPlanckResearch 3/2022: To Stay or to Go?
75 years Max Planck Society
Connection to the World
Lise Meitner Excellence Program 2021
Living and working in Germany
Yearbook Highlights
Annual Report 2020
Evaluation - The procedures of the Max Planck Society

From the Institutes

MPI of Molecular Physiology, et al.
Brain logistics more
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
Fluctuations by the minute more
MPI for Biological Intelligence (Martinsried site)
Fruit fly's complex symphony of vision more
MPI for Biological Intelligence (Martinsried site)
How tasty is the food? more
MPI of Biochemistry
Ångström-resolution fluorescence microscopy more
Max Planck Innovation
MPG spin-off Thermosome starts Phase I trial more
MPI for Biology Tübingen
Playing hide and seek in the centromere more
MPI for Marine Microbiology
Marine bacteria duplicate at different rates more
MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
The beginning is the end more
MPI for Astronomy
A reluctant exoplanet lifts its veil – a bit more
MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Alternative fuel for string-shaped motors in cells more
MPI for Biology of Ageing
Two waves of DNA damage repair more
MPI for Gravitational Physics
AI finds merging black holes more
MPI for Molecular Genetics
The epigenetically dispersed placenta more
MPI for Molecular Biomedicine
Scarless wound healing more


Cell droplet research

Cell droplet research

A new hope for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases / A film about the research of Anthony Hyman, who was awarded with the Koerber Prize 2022 and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences 2023
Flight and trauma

Flight and trauma

Video March 18, 2022
Traumatic experiences arising from flight from war zones can lead to distressing symptoms, which impair everyday life. Now with Ukrainian subtitles
Covid-19: from vaccination to medication

Covid-19: from vaccination to medication

Three pioneering experts - Uğur Şahin, Tzachi Pilpel & Patrick Cramer - discussed the future of fighting Covid-19.on Nov 11, 2021
Optogenetics briefly explained

Optogenetics briefly explained

Optogenetics is a relatively new field that uses light to control genetically modified cells. It is based on light-activated membrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin or channelrhodopsin, that are built into nerve cells
Four questions for Raisa Sherif

Four questions for Raisa Sherif

Raisa Sherif,  now a senior research fellow at Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, talks about her work, what advice she has for girls who want to become researchers, and the challenges of becoming a researcher.

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