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 8 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

Chronic Kidney Disease
(Chronic Kidney Disease)
Dr. Christoph Merten, Dr. Rainer Pepperkok and Dr. Julio Saez-Rodriguez

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

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

Stem Cell-Niche Networks in Ageing and Diseases
(Stem Cell-Niche Networks)
Dr. Judith Zaugg and Dr. Caroline Pabst, Prof. Dr. Anthony D. Ho, Prof. Dr. Carsten Müller-Tidow

Systems Medicine of Cancer Drugs
(Systems Medicine of Cancer Drugs)
Dr. Wolfgang Huber and Dr. Sascha Dietrich