The MPI-CBG is currently headed by five scientific directors together with the COO, which as a team constitute the Board of Directors. They operate as a Kollegium making decisions through consensus and managing their resources as a group. The MPI-CBG Directors prefer a more resource-efficient model and to foster scientific innovation through independent Research Groups. They themselves are each a Research Group Leader sharing centralized services and facilities with non-Director Research Group Leaders. This governance structure is unique within the Max Planck Society and named the “Dresden Model”.

Each scientific director assumes the responsibility of Managing Director for a rotating term of two years. The Managing Director together with the COO, oversee the administration and support staff. The COO is responsible for overseeing all support including Services & Facilities and Administration while the Managing Director is responsible for overseeing the entire Institute and its reporting structure.
The Directors meet monthly to discuss and decide on activities of the Institute and they have a weekly lunch providing a more informal setting for discussions.

Anne Grapin-Botton

Anne Grapin-Botton was born on July 1, 1967 in La Rochelle, France. She studied biology at the UPMC University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI) and completed her MSc there in 1991 and received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology in 1995. She carried out postdoctoral work in Harvard University (Cambridge, USA) where she developed interest in endoderm and pancreas development. In 2001, she started her lab on Pancreas Development and Cancer at the ISREC (Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research) and then EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland). In 2012, she became professor of Developmental Biology at the Danish Stem Cell Center of the University of Copenhagen. In August 2018, Anne Grapin-Botton joined the team of Directors at the MPI-CBG and researches self-organization of cells into organ communities. Anne Grapin-Botton is the recipient of several awards and grants including, a Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) Long Term Fellowship.

Gene Myers

Gene Myers was born on December 31, 1953. In 2012, he joined the scientific community in Dresden as the Founding Director of the Center for Systems Biology (CSBD) and Director at the MPI-CBG. Previously, he had been a group leader at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus (JFRC) since its inception in 2005. Gene came to the JFRC from UC Berkeley where he was on the faculty of Computer Science from 2003 to 2005. He was formerly Vice President of Informatics Research at Celera Genomics for four years. Prior to that Gene was on the faculty of the University of Arizona for 17 years and he received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Colorado in 1981. He was voted the most influential in bioinformatics in 2001 by Genome Technology Magazine and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003. In 2004, Gene Myers won the International Max Planck Research Prize, was inducted into Leopoldina, the German Academy of Science, in 2006, and was awarded an honarary doctorate at ETH, Zurich.

Stephan Grill

Stephan Grill was born on May 5, 1974 in Heidelberg and studied physics at the University of Heidelberg. He received his PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the University of Munich. He did his postdoctoral work first at MPI-CBG from 2002- 2003, and then at the University of Berkeley in California, USA. Stephan Grill returned to Dresden in 2006, where he worked jointly at MPI-CBG and the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden as a junior research group leader. Since 2013 he is Professor of Biophysics at the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden. He is also the speaker of the new Cluster of Excellence “Physics of Life” at the TU Dresden and became a director at the MPI-CBG in September 2018. He has received a number of awards including the 2011 Paul Ehrlich- und Ludwig Darmstaedter-Nachwuchspreis and the 2015 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics.

Marino Zerial

Marino Zerial was born on August 8, 1958 in Triest (Italy). He studied biochemistry at the University of Triest and was awarded a PhD there in 1982. He did postdoctoral work in groups at the Institute J. Monod, Paris, and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg, where he joined the Cell Biology Program as research group leader in 1991. Marino Zerial is one of the Founding Directors of the MPI-CBG, building up the Institute from 1998 on. He was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2008 and has been honoured with the membership of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in 2019.

Anthony A. Hyman

Managing Director (July 2021 to June 2023)

Anthony A. Hyman was born on May 27, 1962 in Haifa (Israel). Hyman was educated at the University College London and at King's College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a PhD in 1987. He did a postdoc at the University of California/San Francisco in 1988 and became group head at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg in 1993.

In 1998, Tony Hyman became one of the four Founding Directors of the MPI-CBG. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007 and was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2011. In 2017, Tony Hyman received the Schleiden medal from the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Contact the managing director:

Ivan C. Baines (COO)

Ivan C. Baines is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a Board Member of the MPI-CBG, where he oversees all daily operations of the Institute including heading the administration, the technical and scientific services, and is responsible for technology transfer and commercialization. He was formerly with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States working in three main areas: managing a large portfolio of research areas with regard to scientific review and administration for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), serving on its Technical Evaluation Board focused on out-licensing and cooperative R&D agreements, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program during the course of which he advised the structuring of over 100 new start-ups in the life sciences sector. He was a co-founder of Biopolis Consultants in Dresden and has advised the public sector on establishing regional bioclusters. He has served on numerous biotech boards and has been published extensively in leading scientific journals. Ivan C. Baines received his PhD in cell biology and biochemistry from the University of London in 1988.

Director Emeriti

Wieland B. Huttner: Director 1998–2018

Born on February 15, 1950 in Hanover, Wieland B. Huttner studied medicine in Hamburg and Oxford. He completed his PhD at the Hamburg University in 1976, and worked as a postdoc at both the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine and at Yale University. In 1981, he became head of a junior research group at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, and group head at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg in 1985. Wieland Huttner served as Professor and Chair at the Institute for Neurobiology at Heidelberg University (1991-2000), and was thereafter appointed as one of the four Founding Directors of the MPI-CBG in 1998. Wieland Huttner is Honorary Professor for Neurobiology at Dresden University of Technology and acted as chair of the Scientific Council of the Max Planck Society 2009-2012. In 2018, he became Director Emeritus.

Elisabeth Knust: Director 2007–2019

Elisabeth Knust was born on January 9, 1951. She completed her PhD in biology at the University of Düsseldorf in 1979 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Clinical Virology at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg (1980-1983). Elisabeth Knust was Assistant Professor at the Institute of Developmental Biology at the University of Cologne from 1983 to 1988), and a Heisenberg Fellow at the University of Cologne and University of Boulder, Colorado (1988-1990). She became Full Professor for Developmental Biology at the University of Cologne in 1990, then moved on to the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf as Full Professor and Head of the Institute of Genetics in 1996. She became one of the Directors at the MPI-CBG in 2007, succeeding Founding Director Kai Simons. Elisabeth Knust received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 1997. She became Director Emerita in 2019.

Kai Simons: Director 1998–2006

Kai Simons was born on 24 May 1938 in Helsinki, Finland. In 1964, he graduated from the University of Helsinki as Medical Doctor, followed by postdoctoral work at the Rockefeller University in New York, USA. Back at the University of Helsinki, he held two professorships in the area of Biochemistry between 1971 - 1979 next to a position as Investigator at the Finnish Medical Research Council from 1967-1975. Kai Simons joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany in 1975 as a research group leader, where he also coordinated the Cell Biology Programme from 1982-1998. He is one of the founding directors of the MPI-CBG. In 2006, he became Director Emeritus.