Featured projects in a nutshell

Whether it is therapies against cancer, observing changing geo-systems, or research on islamic law: this frontier research was all made possible only because private donors supported it – the seeding for tomorrows' Nobel laureates.

The here featured projects are only an excerpt of the scientific diversity of our institutes. But they all share common ground: these projects needed head-room to evolve, to freely explore new scientific approaches while grappling substantial questions. We invite you to take a glance at this diversity, to get inspired and find a field of research you would like to support.

Scientists are on the trail of the Sun’s mysteries using a flying observatory with a 130-metre helium-filled balloon, which was made possible by funding from private endowments. [more]
In Jena, scientists identify the key processes in the global biogeochemical material cycles and study these processes with a view to understanding changes in ecosystems and identifying them at an early stage. [more]
Together with her privately-funded Max Planck Research Group in Hamburg, Nadjma Yassari does educational work on Islamic family law and highlights the multi-facetted and flexible nature of the law in Islamic countries. [more]
It’s already old news these days: people are living longer and longer. And James Vaupel is hot trailing a perhaps physical constant. He and his group are interested in finding out whether the current trend will continue in this way. [more]
The possibility of researching independently with their own team – this opportunity presented itself for Susann Fiedler at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods. She is Head of the Gielen-Leyendecker Research Group and is advancing the young psychologist’s career in leaps and bounds. [more]
The Neanderthals are alive - in us! The latest methods of investigation have enabled Svante Pääbo and his team to prove that remains of archaic DNA are still to be found in modern humans: around two percent of our genome stems from the Neanderthals. [more]
The skin forms the largest organ in the body. Among its many functions: protective shield, a store for nutrients and water, an excretory organ for metabolic breakdown products, absorbs medications, and a sensory organ. Three privately funded research groups go way deeper, trying to understand specific skin functions. [more]
Stefan Mundlos, Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics investigates the causes of rare diseases with his team: he is specialized in the genomic analysis of rare bone diseases. [more]
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