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Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Physiologie

Topics of Research

The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology investigates structure-function-relationships of biological macromolecules and the effect of these characteristics on the biology of cells, organs and finally the complete organisms. The range of techniques which are applied in the Institute reflects the different levels of complexity of these investigations.

  • Mechanisms operating on an atomic and molecular level are analysed by means of protein crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and fast kinetics

  • Investigations on a cellular level are performed by means of optical (confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, video imaging), electrophysiological and biochemical methods

  • Cell biological, physiological and molecular biological methods are applied to analyse the function of cells in the organism, the exchange of matter between the cell and its environment as well as the signal transduction inside and outside the cell.

Many projects of the institute have medicinal relevance and contribute to an understanding of the causes of cancer, viral infections and metabolic diseases. These investigations are aimed at potential approaches for diagnosis and therapy of these diseases.

The wide range of methods present in the Institute automatically leads to a collaboration between the departments, because none of the departments masters all necessary methods. This is true especially for the highly specialised techniques (protein crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, reaction kinetics, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, electrophysiology, video imaging), but also for methods which may rather be considered as routine techniques, like molecular biology, cell culture or preparative chemistry.

At the end of the year 2001 the Institute employed 201 employees including those funded by third-party funds; among them 81 scientists, 35 postdocs, and guest scientists.


Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Physiologie

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