Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research!

At our institute, physicists, chemists and biologists create knowledge of long-term relevance to basic medical science. The unifying theme of our research is to observe and manipulate the vastly complex molecular and cellular interactions that are the basis of life. more


Otto Hahn Medal for Oskar Staufer

April 27, 2021
Oskar Staufer earned his PhD in the Cellular Biophysics Department. He receives the award from the Max Planck Society for his outstanding doctoral research on the development of synthetic exosomes and the investigation of their fundamental molecular signaling mechanism in cellular networks and tissue models.

The institute mourns the death of Herbert Gutfreund

Herbert ('Freddie') Gutfreund, who had been an External Scientific Member of the Institute since 1987, died on March 21st, 2021 aged 99. He was a pioneer in the use of rapid kinetics to study enzyme mechanisms. These methods played a central role in the work of the Department of Biophysics, led by Kenneth C. Holmes.

Collateral Damage in X-ray Free Electron (XFEL) Experiments

March 15, 2021
Recent publications by the department of Biomolecular Mechanisms in Nature Communications and Physical Review Research investigate how the extremely rapid succession of X-ray pulses at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) may affect the very nature of the sample being analysed.

Departments of the Institute


Ilme Schlichting


Joachim Spatz


Kai Johnsson


Stefan W. Hell

Events and Media

Events and visits cancelled

The MPI for Medical Research has cancelled all visits to the institute by non-staff groups until further notice. All events have been cancelled as well. We will give updates on new dates.


Education and Careers

Max Planck Schools

Our institute is the initiator and speaker of the new Max Planck School MATTER to LIFE that wants to educate a new generation of scientists. Curious? Find all the information here.

Apply now!

We are always looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic members for our institute. With the attractive city of Heidelberg and its surroundings and an excellent research environment we can offer an optimal combination of high living standards and first-class research.

Mentoring and Career Development

Talent, creativity, and passion – these are the qualities that count at our institute. As a researcher joining the MPI for Medical Research, you will work alongside scientists who are world leaders in their field. We value a culture of respect, openness and strong support for emerging talents, irrespective of background. We look forward to your contribution to our efforts towards understanding nature.

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