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About the “Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut
für Molekulare Pharmakologie”

We are the “Leibniz-Forschungs-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie”.
In English, it is called "Leibniz Research Institute for Molecular Pharmacology".
The short name is FMP.

Pharmacology is the science of making medicine with drugs.
For this, we look at what happens in the cells of the body.
We will explain molecular pharmacology in more detail in a moment.

Our institute is named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
Leibniz was a famous scientist.
We also have a lot of scientists doing research here.
Our institute does research for future medicine.
Our research helps to find out how medicine and drugs can be made.

This is what medicine can do:

  • Cure diseases
  • Protect against diseases
    For example, a flu vaccination.

Our scientists try to find out:

  • What makes us ill?
  • How does a drug get to the right place in the body?
    For example, into the tumour cells. Cancer drugs are supposed to destroy a tumour.
  • Which medicine protects us from viruses and bacteria?
    Viruses and bacteria can make us sick. One example is the corona-virus.

What does molecular pharmacology mean?

Our scientists study the cells in the body.
Cells are the basic building blocks for all living things.
For example, nerve cells.

The scientists also study the molecules in the cells.
Molecules are the smallest parts of cells.
Molecules can control things in the body.
Molecules pass on genetic information from parents to their children.
For example, the hair colour.

We do research for the medicine of tomorrow.
Our work is the basis for:

  • New active ingredients.
    Active ingredients are important for medicine.
    For example, chemicals.
    Active ingredients have an effect on our body.
  • New diagnostic methods.
    Diagnosis means: recognising a disease.
  • New medicine.

What is the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie?
The FMP was founded in 1992.
Our institute is located in Berlin-Buch.
The FMP is part of the Forschungs-Verbund Berlin.
This is an association of 7 research institutes in Berlin.
These 7 institutes all belong to the Leibniz Association.

How does the FMP work?
The FMP studies body cells.
Our body consists of cells.
For example, blood cells.

We look at bio-chemical processes in the cells.
One example is the energy turnover:
This is, when the food we eat is turned into energy.
But many bio-chemical processes have to happen for this.

We study the effects of different active ingredients.
Active ingredients are the ingredients in a medicine.
For example, chemical substances.
These substances can change what happens in the body cells.

Research means:
Scientific experiments lead to results and knowledge.
For this purpose, we also do studies on animals.
Our work should help people.
Research benefits health.

The FMP shares research results.
This way, we support the development of medicines.
These groups use our research results:

  • The health industry:
    Medical manufacturers.
    These are the companies that make and sell the medicine.
  • Other research institutes:
    Medical institutes.

The FMP has a school laboratory.
The school laboratory is called ChemLab.
ChemLab is made up of the words chemistry and laboratory.
Students can go to courses there.
We offer these courses:

  • Caffeine.
    Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee. It keeps us awake.
  • Plastics.
    We develop bio-plastics, for example.
    Bio-plastics are made from plant cells. They can be used for plastic coffee cups, for example.
  • Fragrances.
    For example, for soap or perfume to smell good.

In which areas does the FMP do research?
The FMP mainly works on these areas:

  • Nervous system.
    Nerves pick up external signals.
    For example: When you touch a hot plate, you feel pain.
  • Nerves also control body reactions.
    Your hand moves back quickly.
  • Body cells.
  • Research on active ingredients.
    Medicine contains active ingredients.
    They have an influence on the body.

The FMP does research in very different areas.
The scientists work together in working groups.
In 2023, there are 21 working groups.

Sustainability in the laboratory
Sustainability means: treating nature well.
It also means: doing things today, so that nature can do well in the future.
For example, burning less fossil gas.

4 of our laboratories got an award for sustainable work:
The laboratories of Volker Haucke, Dorothea Fiedler, Johannes Broichhagen and Christian Hackenberger.
The employees save energy.
For example, through good room ventilation.
They are also good at separating waste.
In the future, all the laboratories will work in a sustainable way.

Facts and figures
240 employees work at the FMP.
Our research is very good.
These results show that:

  • In 2022, many scientific papers were published and our scientists wrote a total of 91 articles in scientific journals.
  • 11 scientists are funded by the EU. This means that many countries pay for our research, too.
  • Some scientists have received awards.
    For example, the science prize of the Stifterverband, the Leibniz Prize and the Feldberg Prize.

Who pays for the research work at the FMP?
The Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Berlin
pay for our research work.
The federal government and the state each give half.
In 2022, that was a total of 28.4 million euros.
Other donors added another 9 million euros.
For example, the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Who is in charge of the FMP?
Professor Dorothea Fiedler and
Professor Volker Haucke are in charge of the FMP.
Dr Nicole Münnich is the managing director of the Forschungs-Verbund Berlin.

The company "capito Graz" did the translation into Easy Language.
3 people with learning difficulties checked if the text is easy to understand.

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