Disease Research

Sudden cardiac death: large study to improve risk assessment

One of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death in young people is a genetic condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). However, it is difficult to assess the risk of sudden cardiac death among people with this condition using current methods. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a large-scale study that should […]

Insights into the “dark zone”

MDC scientists publish new findings on differentiation and malignant transformation of B lymphocytes. B-cell lymphoma is one of the most common cancers derived from the lymphoid system. Lymphomagenesis is often linked to the so-called germinal center reaction. B lymphocytes represent a subgroup of the white blood cells, whose expansion after infection leads to germinal center formation. […]

Genetic cause of cleft palate

Some children are born with cleft palates and, of those children, some have an asymmetrical face and a malformed ear. A team of scientists led by Berlin-based researcher Enno Klußmann of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) has taken an important step towards discovering the genetic causes of this condition, known as Goldenhar […]

Neurodermatitis genes influence other allergies

There’s a typical “career” for some allergic people, and it starts very early on the skin: babies develop atopic dermatitis, food allergies may follow, then comes asthma and later on hay fever. A group of scientists led by Ingo Marenholz and Young-Ae Lee at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association […]

MDC Alumna Henriette Uhlenhaut: “Getting things moving in health research”

Nina Henriette Uhlenhaut really gets around. The well-traveled biotechnologist has worked in Braunschweig, Atlanta, Heidelberg, La Jolla, Berlin, and now Munich. During this time, Uhlenhaut’s research has also taken leaps and bounds, covering topics ranging from the molecular biology of plants to the regulation of genes that determine sex in mammals, to human hormone receptors. […]

Darth Vader’s helmet and other adventures at the border of physics, medicine, and biology

Suppose you have a free afternoon to spend discussing topics like interdisciplinarity, new technology and translational research, with physicists, biologists, doctors, patients, computer programmers, and possibly a guy who drives a crane. And while you’re at it, why not fool around with a 32-ton magnet? All that fun and more can be had by hanging […]

Can a small A-kinase anchoring protein have a big role in cancer?

Profiling student research If you don’t know Ekaterina Perets personally, you surely remember the article she wrote on the festival Rosh ha Shana in Insights. Ekaterina, an Israeli PhD student in the lab of Enno Klußmann, recently saw an email inviting scientists to one of the “open-door writing labs” hosted every couple of weeks by the […]

Following the leader: how new blood vessels choose which cell goes first

Cells compete to lead the tip of growing blood vessels, a team of European and American scientists has discovered. Their study, published recently in Nature Communications, also revealed how the leading cell is chosen. Understanding how the body regulates angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels including veins, arteries and capillaries – is relevant […]

Second ERC Grant for Francesca Spagnoli

The year 2015 has started very nicely with yet another ERC Grant for the MDC. Francesca Spagnoli, who had formerly received a grant of 1 million Euros, has received additional funding from the European Research Council. This “Proof-of-Concept Grant” is endowed with 150,000 Euros. It is designed for researchers who already hold an ERC grant […]

A broken tool and broken hearts

The analysis of the human genome showed that our DNA contains fewer genes than most scientists expected – and that most are more like archipelagoes than compact islands. A gene’s sequence usually contains several protein-encoding segments, called exons, which are separated by long, non-coding sequences called introns. These have to be removed to create a […]