The variety of topics investigated by scientists at the MPI for Developmental Biology is extensive, although all subjects have a biological theme. The cutting-edge technology in molecular and cellular biology and computational science available at the institute is enabling scientists to gain increasing insight into cellular and developmental processes. A highly dynamic and interdisciplinary approach is applied from the molecular level to cells, tissues, and the whole organism.



The core facilities of the MPI for Developmental Biology are the Electron Microscopy, Light Microscopy, NMR Spectroscopy, the Genome Center, and the X-Ray Crystallography.

The facilities offer a broad range of methods and techniques and provide a motivating and helpful environment where researchers/users are trained and supported throughout their projects.



Every other year the institutes of the Tübingen campus invite the general public to their Open House or participate in the TÜFF (Tübinger Fenster für Forschung), a science fair. Scientists participate regularly at events like the „Kinder-Uni“ (Children's University), the Maus-Türöffner-Tag (open house event for children), as well as in presentations and podium discussions hosted by the MPI for Developmental Biology, FML or the partner institutes.


Mission Statement

Contemporary biology covers an enormous scale, from research on basic cellular processes to predictions about global climate change. But this spectrum has not been continuous: while biologists have long known that organisms physically adapt to their natural environment, the underlying genetic, molecular and biochemical processes have often remained a mystery. The MPI for Developmental Biology is uniquely poised to help close this gap. At the atomic level, we are investigating how protein machines work. At the molecular and subcellular level, we are studying how proteins and RNA molecules cooperate to regulate fundamental processes, such as transcription, translation and signal transduction, and how this regulation depends on the location of proteins within the cell. At the tissue level, we are determining how cells interact to produce complex outcomes during development. Finally, at the whole organism level, we are asking how the naturally occurring interactions between microbes, plants and animals shape their respective genomes.

Our Institute

Our institute conducts basic research on the development and evolution of animals and plants at different organisational levels – from molecules on to the whole organism and up to distinct species. Currently, there are six different research departments each presided by one of the Institute’s directors, as well as several independent research groups, amongst them the active emeritus group of Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.

Our PhD Programs

Two programs take care of the more than one hundred young scientists that are currently working here towards their PhD degree.

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) “From Molecules to Organisms”  and the International PhD Program in the Biological Sciences.

Information for

Here you find all the latest information about the Max Planck Campus Tübingen. We send press releases on a regularly base to inform the media and the broad interested audience about the latest research results and topics. Stay informed about what is happening on Campus and the latest public events.


Information for

The promotion of young scientists is a very important goal at the MPI for Developmental Biology. In close cooperation with the University of Tübingen about 200 students from all over the world are working at the three Max Planck Institutes and at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory on their theses.


Information for
the Public

We provide detailed information about the MPI for Developmental Biology, the Max Planck Campus Tübingen, research news, viewpoints, and a broad range of further information for the general public
as well as pupils and teachers.