Fig. 5: Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology 2005 (click to enlarge).
Upon the retirement of Alfred Gierer and Friedrich Bonhoeffer, a third generation of directors began to change the focus of the institute again. In 1999, Ralf Sommer introduced evolutionary biology as director of department 4. In 2001, Andrei Lupas added structural biology and evolution of proteins (department 1, protein evolution,), and Detlef Weigel (department 6, molecular biology) brought back plant biology, with an emphasis on plant evolution in 2002. The resources for this sixth department became available with the closing of the MPI for Biology, first announced in 1998. The appointment of a new generation of directors was completed with Elisa Izaurralde (department 2) in 2005, and Gerd Jürgens (department 5, cell biology) in 2008, who continued his appointment as professor in plant genetics at the University of Tübingen.
In addition to research groups in the departments, the institute hosts five non-tenured Max Planck Research Groups plus several additional independent research groups supported through third party or institute funds. Departments 1, 2, 3 and 5, the research groups, the microscopy and genomics facilities, teaching labs, seminar rooms and administration are located in the new modern building finished in 2005 (Fig. 5),