The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory (FML) is a research institute of the Max Planck Society, named after Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss physician who discovered the DNA while working in Tübingen. The FML is part of the Max Planck Campus Tübingen, which also hosts the Max Planck Institutes for Biology Tübingen, Biological Cybernetics, and Intelligent Systems. The research groups at the FML work on different aspects of biology.

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FML Groups

Molecular basis and evolution of complex traits

The genome is constantly evolving and adapting. We seek to understand how adaptation is encoded in the genome and how evolution works by combining genomics, stem cell and computational methods to link DNA sequence to their evolutionary outcomes. 


Molecular mechanisms of adaptation and speciation

We use population and functional genomic techniques to study adaptive genetic variation, regulation of gene expression, chromatin, and recombination in stickleback fish.


Dr. Luisa F. Pallares

Evolutionary Genomics of Complex Traits

We study the genetic basis of complex traits in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and how the genotype–phenotype map gets re-modelled under different environmental conditions.


Structural Biochemistry of Meiosis

Meiosis is the process by which the chromosomes from each parent are properly segregated into gametes (e.g. eggs and sperm). Our group examines the mechanisms that control this critical process in the development of new life. 


Mission Statement

DNA, the molecule that encodes all hereditary information necessary to build an organism, was discovered in Tübingen by the Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher. The laboratory named after him is dedicated to promoting the work of young scientists and hosts up to five research groups from all areas of biology.

Currently, FML researchers analyze how homologous chromosomes are properly linked and segregated during meiosis; investigate the physical aspects of morphogen gradient formation and self-organization in developing embryos; and study the molecular basis, mechanisms and evolutionary processes underlying adaptation and speciation in natural populations.

Latest News

Biologist studies the genetic basis of complex traits and how the relationship between genes and the external appearance of an organism gets...

The European Research Council (ERC) is financing a major, ambitious study to generate high quality genome datasets from 2,000 people at the Friedrich...

Insights from stickleback fish provide predictions of how organisms can rapidly adapt to new environments.

Our History

The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory (FML) was founded in 1969 to offer highly qualified junior scientists in the area of biology an opportunity to establish independent research groups and pursue their own line of research within a five-year period. The laboratory still serves this purpose today.

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Our Future

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.

Become a part of the team

We are always happy to hear from students interested in carrying out a bachelors or masters research topic in one of our groups. We are also interested in PhD candidates. If you are looking for a postdoc position, and have a strong track record we would like to hear from you.