The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization. It was founded in 1948 and is the organization that grew out of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, established in 1911. The primary goal of the Max Planck Society is to promote high-level research at its own institutes in the areas of physical sciences, biomedical sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Many Max Planck scientists are world leaders in their speciality. Apart from their emphasis on research, the institutes offer outstanding opportunities for diploma and PhD students as well as postdocs. The Max Planck Society maintains 78 research institutes within Germany and three in other European countries; the following five are located in Hessen.
Max Planck Institute of Biophysics
The aim of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt is to understand the physical principles and molecular mechanisms of life, in particular those that involve cellular membranes and the proteins within them. Membrane proteins play a central role in many biological and medically relevant processes. About 170 scientists and support staff work in three departments to investigate the structure of membrane proteins and their function in native or reconstituted biological membranes.
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Research at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt focuses on basic neurosciences. The three departments of the institute analyze the organization of the mammalian nervous system at different levels of complexity; research ranges from molecular to behavioural studies. Anatomical, biochemical and physiological methods are applied to identify general principles of organization which are shared by the brains of animals and humans.
Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
The Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim focuses on the interface between basic and clinical science concentrating on cardiovascular and lung research. It maintains close interactions with adjacent highly specialized hospitals creating outstanding scientific opportunities. Cardiovascular and lung diseases remain the most frequent causes of death in Europe. The primary focus of the institute is to unveil the molecular mechanisms that underlie these diseases and to devise new innovative strategies for innovative therapeutic approaches.
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
The research of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg focuses on the microbial ecology of terrestrial habitats (soil), with emphasis in the areas of biogeochemistry, biochemistry, ecophysiology, and organismic interactions. The aim is to understand the principle regulatory mechanisms which allow proliferation of representative microbial species or communities as well as the interaction of microorganisms with each other and with plants. This research is presently carried out in four departments and three department-independent groups.
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt focuses on transnational comparative historical scholarship and research on European legal development. The aim of the institute is to portray historical communication about the creators of social and legal norms; their share of power in this process and their interaction with other institutional forces of society. The institute is not divided into departments but carries out research in project-oriented fields of inquiry.