Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Ihnestr. 63-73
14195 Berlin

Principal Investigator

Dr. Sascha Sauer

Dr. Sascha Sauer

Phone +49-30-84131661
Fax +49-30-84131960


Institute Presentation

The Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics ( is involved in developing techniques and concepts to make global analysis of the structure and function of all genes in key organisms feasible. Under funding from the Human Genome Project, from the German National Genome Research Network, and the 1000 Genomes Project, the MPG has successfully carried out genomic sequencing of the human genome, as well as a number of relevant model organisms. Important diseases studied at the institute include cancer (e.g. in the frame of the International Cancer Genome Consortium) and metabolic diseases.
The institute was in many cases the first in establishing the underlying scientific concepts for automation of biological procedures. A set of technologies has been developed and applied by the department for functional genome and proteome analysis including cDNA chips, protein chips and antibody chips, SNP genotyping, and molecular haplotyping.
Many of the technology developments led by Hans Lehrach at MPG resulted in internationally visible and widely used infrastructures such as the German Resource Centre (RZPD), a non-profit organisation that was operating for more than 10 years in providing genomics service world-wide and which was the basis for establishing service companies such as Imagenes and Atlas Biolabs.
Hans Lehrach and Sascha Sauer have been project leaders of several methodological platforms of the German Research Network (NGFN); e.g. Sascha Sauer has been a project leader in the German national genotyping centre and was involved in setting up quality control standards and harmonisation of high-throughput genotyping methods. MPG has currently the largest second generation sequencing capacity in continental Europe consisting of newest Illumina, LifeTech SOLiD, 3 454-Roche systems. These instruments are the workhorses for R&D and a limited number of these instruments are being applied for collaborative projects with external users. The IT infrastructure provided for ESGI comprises currently more than 1500 terabytes storage and a computer farm consisting of over 2000 CPUs.

The MPG will coordinate the ESGI infrastructure and is the leader of the transnational access program. Management (WP1) will be administrated by partner 11 under the supervision of MPG. MPG will further be involved in the three main areas of the proposal, Networking (WP2, WP3, WP4, WP6), in Transnational Access (WP8), and in RTD (WP9 and WP10). The MPG will develop and harmonise protocols for sample processing including library making and for bioinformatic tools, and participate in training and dissemination activities and in summarising ELS issues for proper operating of the infrastructure. In the area of RTD, the MPG will improve pull-down methods, including high complexity barcoding as well as implementing 3rd generation sequencers. The involvement in WP8 activities will amongst others include:

  • Exome and regulatory sequencing as well as RNA sequencing of European Biobank samples selected for cancer characterisation.
  • Genetics of metabolic diseases: Gene-regulation studies (ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq, data integration), whole-genome- and exome sequencing in disease models of polygenic traits and compound-treated animal models.