History of the Institute

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The institute in the change of time

The roots of the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology extend back to the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, who founded in Munich the world’s first privately financed, university-independent and interdisciplinary brain research institute: the German Institute for Psychiatric Research. The institute was soon to attract scientists such as Brodmann, Nissl, Page, Pasternak, Plaut and Spielmeyer.

As one of the first institutes outside Berlin, the German Institute for Psychiatric Research was integrated into the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1924. In 1926, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded $325,000 for the outstanding work performed by the institute. This financed a new building, officially opened in 1928 and located in the Kraepelinstrasse in Munich.

In 1954, the institute, now affiliated with the Max Planck Society, was renamed the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, and restructured into a Clinical and an Experimental Department. This reorganization mirrored the diverging foci of the two departments with a more clinical approach of the Clinical Department and a focus on basic research of the Experimental Department. Both departments flourished and in 1984, the Experimental Department moved to Martinsried, where it is situated right next to the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry (www.biochem.mpg.de/en). In 1998, the Experimental Department was acknowledged as an independent institute, the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology (MPIN). The Clinical Department continues to exist under its original name (www.psych.mpg.de/en).

During the past decades, the two institutes stood – and still stand today - for first-class basic research in the Life Sciences. This fact encouraged further institutes, such as the Biocenter and the Biomedical Center of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) or the Innovation and Startup Center for Biotechnology (IZB) to establish themselves in Martinsried at the Life Science Campus Martinsried (www.campusmartinsried.de/eng).


Please find the detailed timeline of the institute's past here.

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