Welcome to the MPI of Molecular Physiology

Every day the trillions of cells in our bodies ensure that we are able to see, think, speak and move. How does each cell ‘know’ what to do? How can an organism arise from millions of nanometer-sized molecules although there is no blueprint? What actually is ‘life’? For centuries, philosophers and natural scientists have been trying to solve this mystery. Many questions remain unresolved to this day.

We want to know how the building blocks of the cells organize themselves and ensure that certain chemical reactions occur at the right time in the right place – or how errors lead to the development of diseases like cancer. To achieve this, we are studying the relevant processes on multiple levels – from single molecules and larger protein complexes to whole cells.


How peroxisomes catch their enzymes

December 17, 2020
Experts from different fields together reveal the first structure of the peroxisomal docking complex

Malte Gersch accepted to the Young College of the NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Art

December 14, 2020
Malte Gersch's team is looking for new ways to develop innovative therapeutic approaches.

Controlling intracellular signal network dynamics with light

December 02, 2020
Optogenetic investigations by the Dehmelt group reveal mechanism for regulation of cell contraction dynamics

Scientists awarded Millions for Re-Engineering Cell Division

November 05, 2020
Prof. Andrea Musacchio is part of an european research consortium awarded the prestigious ERC Synergy Grant to reconstitute cell division in vitro and in silico

Research at the Institute


An excellent research infrastructure and the latest technologies feature Max Planck Institutes and offer an excellent working ground for young scientists.

People at the MPI

We are an international team of scientists from more than 30 nations dedicated to investigating the basic physical and biochemical processes in the cells at the molecular level


With great interest, we try to follow the career steps of our alumni and try not to lose track of them. The MPI Dortmund was a milestone in the career of many of them. There they not only met new friends but also established important scientific contacts. 
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