Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany

MPIMGDescription of organisation

The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG) is one of the key research institutes for molecular biology research and is perceived internationally as a stronghold of genome and genetics research. The overall research goal is to gain new insights into the development of diseases on a molecular level, thus contributing to the development of novel cause-related medical treatments. The MPIMG is one of the largest next generation sequencing centers in Europe and has outstanding expertise in the field of NGS technology development. Hans Lehrach, head of the department "Vertebrate Genomics", is a leader in the development and applications of different –omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) as well as systems biology techniques in the analysis of biological networks and disease processes. The department participates in the 1000 Genomes project, as well as in two ICGC projects and has started to develop the combination of next generation sequencing with systems biology to develop a new approach to individualised medicine (


Previous experience

Hans Lehrach is director at the MPIMG and head of the Department of Vertebrate Genomics. He is partner in two International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) projects and member of the ICGC Technologies Working Group. The MPIMG is the second largest NGS sequencing centre in Europe using all available technology platforms (SOLiD, Illumina, 454, Polonator). They coordinate the EU I3 European Sequencing and Genotyping Initiative. The department participates in the 1000genomes project and is the leader of the managing entity of the IMI project OncoTrack, a private-public partnership on oncology biomarker development, and coordinates the FP7-project ADAMS. Hans Lehrach is partner in several FP7 projects (READNA, GEUVADIS, APO-SYS, Trireme, and BBMRI). His group has a strong expertise next generation sequencing, systems biology as well as in the analysis and modeling of cellular processes with respect to development and diseases. The research is driven by the integration of diverse -omics data, as generated by current (high-throughput) technologies.


Profile of staff members

Hans Lehrach is an internationally renowned expert in the field of –omic technologies as well as systems biology techniques. Ralf Herwig is the head of the bioinformatics group. His expertise is the analysis of large data sets including next generation sequencing and proteomic data. He will be involved in data management, integration, bioinformatic analysis and modeling. Ralf Sudbrak is project leader of the German contribution of the 1000 Genomes project and coordinator of EU research of the institute.



Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics



Five recent publications relevant to the project

1 Computational analysis of genome-wide DNA-methylation during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells along the endodermal lineage. Genome Research 2010 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]


2 The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium (2010) A map of human genome variation from population scale sequencing, Nature, 467 1061-1073


3 Richard, H., Schulz, M. H., Sultan, M., Nurnberger, A., Schrinner, S., Balzereit, D., Dagand, E., Rasche, A., Lehrach, H., Vingron, M., Haas, S. A., & Yaspo, M. L. 2010a. Prediction of alternative isoforms from exon expression levels in RNA-Seq experiments. Nucleic Acids Res, 38(10): e112.


4 International Cancer Genome Consortium. International network of cancer genome projects. Nature 2010 464: 993-998


5 Sultan M, Schulz MH, Richard H, Magen A, Klingenhoff A, Scherf M, Seifert M, Borodina T, Soldatov A, Parkhomchuk D, Schmidt D, O'Keeffe S, Haas S, Vingron M, Lehrach H, Yaspo ML. A global view of gene activity and alternative splicing by deep sequencing of the human transcriptome. Science, 2008 321, 956-960.