One MMPU hallmark is that it is staffed by both institutions, EMBL and the University Hospital Heidelberg, and each research group is headed by two cooperating principal investigators. Currently, the MMPU consists of eight international teams of molecular research-oriented MDs, PhDs, PhD students and technicians.

The research philosophy aims at the molecular understanding of the basis of common human diseases, its applications in diagnosis and therapy, and feedback from 'bedside medicine' into the research laboratory.

Diseases of mRNA metabolism
(Blood Diseases)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Hentze and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kulozik

Pathogenesis of Colorectal Cancer and Development of Novel Approaches for Early Detection, Diagnosis and Prevention
(Cancer Early Detection, Diagnosis and Prevention CED)
Dr. Peer Bork and Prof. Dr. Magnus von Knebel Doeberitz

Molecular mediators of chronic pain
(Chronic Pain)
Dr. Paul Heppenstall, Prof. Dr. Rohini Kuner and Prof. Dr. Jan Siemens

Cystic fibrosis / Chronic Airway Disease
(Cystic Fibrosis)
Dr. Carsten Schultz and Prof. Dr. Marcus Mall

Interfering with assembly and maturation of infectious HIV-1
(HIV-1 formation and its inhibition)
Dr. John A.G. Briggs and Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Kräusslich

Iron homeostasis in health and disease
(Iron Homeostasis)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Hentze and Prof. Dr. Martina Muckenthaler

Molecular Pediatric Oncology
(Molecular Pediatric Oncology)
Dr. Jan Korbel and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kulozik

Early warning signals of aging in human stem cells
(Stem Cells and Aging)
Dr. Anne-Claude Gavin and Prof. Dr. Anthony D. Ho