Director, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster


Department Tissue Morphogenesis


Ralf Adams is Head of the Department of Tissue Morphogenesis at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster. He obtained his PhD with Heinrich Betz at Frankfurt University. He then moved on to Rüdiger Klein’s laboratory at the EMBL at Heidelberg studying ephrins, before setting up his own group at the Cancer UK London Research Institute. He is now Director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster.

Qualifications and Scientific Curriculum

PhD: Biochemistry, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, EMBL Heidelberg


Head of the Vascular Development Laboratory and tenured Senior Group Leader, Cancer UK London Research Institute, London, UK

Director, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster




since 2007

Selected publications

  1. Pitulescu ME, Schmidt I, Giaimo BD, Antoine T, Berkenfeld F, Ferrante F, Park H, Ehling M, Biljes D, Rocha SF, Langen UH, Stehling M, Nagasawa T, Ferrara N, Borggrefe T, Adams RH: Dll4 and Notch signalling couples sprouting angiogenesis and artery formation. Nat Cell Biol, 19:915-27, 2017.

  2. Kusumbe AP, Ramasamy SK, Itkin T, Mäe MA, Langen UH, Betsholtz C, Lapidot T, Adams RH: Age-dependent modulation of vascular niches for haematopoietic stem cells. Nature, 532:380-4, 2016.

  3. Ramasamy SK, Kusumbe AP, Wang L, Adams RH: Endothelial Notch activity promotes angiogenesis and osteogenesis in bone. Nature, 507:376-80, 2014.

  4. Kusumbe AP, Ramasamy SK, Adams RH: Coupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis by a specific vessel subtype in bone. Nature, 507:323-8, 2014.

  5. Nakayama M, Nakayama A, van Lessen M, Yamamoto H, Hoffmann S, Drexler HC, Itoh N, Hirose T, Breier G, Vestweber D, Cooper JA, Ohno S, Kaibuchi K, Adams RH: Spatial regulation of VEGF receptor endocytosis in angiogenesis. Nat Cell Biol, 15:249-60, 2013.

  6. Benedito R, Rocha SF, Woeste M, Zamykal M, Radtke F, Casanovas O, Duarte A, Pytowski B, Adams RH: Notch-dependent VEGFR3 upregulation allows angiogenesis without VEGF-VEGFR2 signalling. Nature, 484:110-4, 2012.

  7. Wang Y, Nakayama M, Pitulescu ME, Schmidt TS, Bochenek ML, Sakakibara A, Adams S, Davy A, Deutsch U, Lüthi U, Barberis A, Benjamin LE, Mäkinen T, Nobes CD, Adams RH: Ephrin-B2 controls VEGF-induced angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Nature, 465:483-6, 2010.

  8. Benedito R, Roca C, Sörensen I, Adams S, Gossler A, Fruttiger M, Adams RH: The Notch ligands Dll4 and Jagged1 have opposing effects on angiogenesis. Cell, 137:1124-35, 2009.

  9. Foo SS, Turner CJ, Adams S, Compagni A, Aubyn D, Kogata N, Lindblom P, Shani M, Zicha D, Adams RH: Ephrin-B2 controls cell motility and adhesion during blood-vessel-wall assembly. Cell, 124:161-73, 2006.

  10. Gliki G, Ebnet K, Aurrand-Lions M, Imhof BA, Adams RH: Spermatid differentiation requires the assembly of a cell polarity complex downstream of junctional adhesion molecule-C. Nature, 431:320-4, 2004.


European Center for Angioscience

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