History of the Institute
The institute was founded on December 6th, 1961 from an industrial research institute of the company Wander AG in Freiburg. Until the end of the 1970´s, under the directorship of Prof. Dr. Otto Westphal, Prof. Dr. Herbert Fischer and Dr. Otto Lüderitz, the institute was primarily engaged in studying the interactions between infectious agents and the immune system, with special emphasis on the bacterial active substance endotoxin.
With the arrival of Prof. Dr. Klaus Eichmann (1981) and Prof. Dr. Georges Köhler (1984) a new thematic orientation of the institute began to occur. And then, following the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology to Georges Köhler in 1984, special funding from the State of Baden-Württemberg made it possible to establish developmental biology as another scientific focus at the institute with the appointments of Prof. Dr. Davor Solter (1990) and Prof. Dr. Rolf Kemler (1992).
On March 1, 1995, Georges Köhler died unexpectedly after a brief illness, and in 1996 Prof. Dr. Thomas Boehm was appointed as his successor. Efforts toward a stronger cooperation between the institute and Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg led to the establishment of the Chair of Molecular Immunology of the Albert Ludwig University at the Institute and the appointment of Prof. Dr. Michael Reth (1998) as its head (as C4-University Professor). In addition, three independent research groups led by junior scientists are associated with the institute under the name Hans Spemann Laboratories.
The scientific identity of the institute is based on making the connection between immunobiology and developmental biology, with the overall goal of achieving a better understanding of how multicellular systems and organisms arise.
Field of Immunology
Field of Developmental Biology
Independent junior research groups
Research Group for Medical Microbiology
Research Group for Zebrafish Development (in the Department of Prof. Dr. Thomas Boehm)
Department of Molecular Immunology of the Institute and of the University of Freiburg
Max-Planck-Institut für Immunbiologie
79011 Freiburg im Breisgau
Tel: +49-761-5108-0 (
Further information: http://www.immunbio.mpg.de