Campus Berlin-Buch has been the site of medical-biological research for more than 85 years – now in the third generation. Here in 1930 the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research with an affiliated neurological hospital began operation under the direction of Oskar Vogt. He led the (at that time) world's largest and most modern institute of its kind until 1937, with research on histological- anatomical and functional layer- and field structures of the cerebral cortex.
From 1937 on, Vogt’s successor oriented the Institute primarily on different neuropathological problems including brain tumors. From 1939/40 on, the Institute also performed experiments on the brains of euthanasia victims and of war prisoners who had been executed.
The Institute became particularly renowned due to the research of the Russian geneticist Nikolai V. Timofeéff-Ressovsky on gene mutations and the structure of genes, in part together with Max Delbrück.
In 1947 the institute and the hospital were transferred as Institute for Medicine and Biology to the auspices of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin. The site developed into a well-known center for cancer research in the fields of chemical carcinogenesis, oncogenic viruses, biochemistry, immunology, genetics, radiation biology and clinical tumor treatment. From 1956 on cardiovascular research was added as second research focus; it also was based on the integration of research and clinical practice. In 1972 the various Academy institutions at Buch became the Central Institutes for Molecular Biology, Cancer Research and Cardiovascular Research.
With the unification of the two German states in 1990, the Academy institutes were phased out in accordance with the Unification Treaty. In 1992 the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch was founded on the campus. In addition, from 1995 on, biotechnology companies settled in the BiotechPark with the Innovation and Incubation Center, and in 2000 the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) settled here.
In 2013 the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) and the Charité jointly opened the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).
In the triad of basic research, clinical research and biotechnology, the campus is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany.