Modern biomedical basic research requires interdisciplinary cooperation – research collaborations and strategic partnerships are therefore very important to us. The Institute participates in many cooperative projects with national and international partners.
AstraZeneca Satellite Unit
This unique collaboration between Astra Zeneca and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology was initially established in 2014 as a satellite unit which focuses on novel chemical opportunities for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Scientists from AstraZeneca are directly embedded within the group of Prof. Herbert Waldmann, which allows the mutual exchange between academia and pharmaceutical industry. This novel strategic alliance aims to discover and develop new chemical modalities in areas such as stabilised peptides, macrocycles and conjugation chemistry that will address the most demanding biological targets in important therapeutically approaches.
“In really successful collaborations, both partners must have a scientific stake in the project; they must accept and value the weaknesses and the strength, the limitations and the needs of both partners. In the collaboration with AstraZeneca these prerequisites are fully met.”
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Herbert Waldmann
The Chemical Genomics Centre was initially established as a joint initiative of several departments and research groups in the Max Planck Society (MPS), including the MPI-MP, the MPI of Coal Research (Mülheim), the MPI for Plant Breeding Research (Cologne), the MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Dresden), the MPI of Psychiatry (Munich), the MPI for Neurological Research (Cologne) and the MPI for Infection Biology (Berlin) and the MPI for Molecular Biomedicine (Münster).
The focus of the CGC is the analysis of biological phenomena through the use of small molecules. The focus is on outstanding early-career scientists, often at their first experience as independent investigators, who can combine creatively their knowledge of Chemistry and Biology. Thus, the CGC-network combines the scientific, infrastructural and institutional strength of well-established Max Planck Departments with new Junior Groups offering intellectual talent and new scientific approaches.
RIKEN – Max Planck – Joint Research Centre for Systems Chemical Biology
In 2011 the MPS established the RIKEN – Max Planck – Joint Research Centre for Systems Chemical Biology (RMP-JRC-SCB) as a novel joint research initiative with its Japanese partner institution RIKEN. The founding members of the Centre comprise Herbert Waldmann und Peter Seeberger (MPI Potsdam-Golm), Hiroyuki Osada and Naoyuki Taniguchi (RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, ASI, Tokyo).
The RMP-JRC-SCB is a platform that combines knowledge, expertise and infrastructure of the participating institutions. Exchange involves both leading experts on the senior researcher level as well as postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. students. The groups of Hiroyuki Osada and Herbert Waldmann complement their expertise in the field of natural and nature-inspired compound collections and the application of these compounds in biochemical and phenotypic assays as well as the identification of their biological targets. While Peter Seeberger’s group provides the technological platforms required for systems glycobiology, the RIKEN team of Naoyuki Taniguchi are experts in disease glycomics. Combining efforts allows establishing a fully integrated initiative that uses advances in fundamental techniques in disease related questions.
The Argentina partnership
The Department of Systemic Cell Biology has established strong partnerships with Argentinian research groups. Hernan E. Grecco (Departamento de Física, Universidad de Buenos Aires), a former group leader of the Department, is now associated to the institute as head of a Max Planck Partner Group. This collaboration is centered on developing imaging methods to perform accurate multiparametric quantification of molecular state in single living cells and started in January 2016. An independent SAB will be established to evaluate this cooperation.
The Department of Systemic Cell Biology also cooperates closely with the Biomedicine Research Institute of Buenos Aires – Partner Institute of the Max Planck Society (IBioBA) in Buenos Aires. To intensify this cooperation a joint research group between IBioBA and the Department of Systemic Cell Biology and another research group at the Department of Systemic Cell Biology were established. The joint research group located at IBioBA and associated to the MPI-MOPH is headed by Dr. Luis Morelli and performs theoretical investigations on the dynamics and spatial organisation of signalling networks in cellular decision processes related to phenotype and develops computational models. The research group at the MPI-MOPH (headed by Dr. Christian Schröter) investigates the dynamics and spatial organisation of signalling networks in tissues experimentally.