Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwarz

BioQuant and Institute for Theoretical Physics
Heidelberg University
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone: +49 6221-54 9431
Fax:      +49 6221-54 9331


Theoretical physics, statistical physics, physics of soft condensed matter, biological physics, computational cell biology, quantitative and systems biology, cell mechanics, cell-matrix adhesion


2019 Fellow Max Planck School Matter to Life
2017 Award for best teaching in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
2013 Outstanding referee of the American Physical Society
2011 Selected as physics organizer for German American Frontiers of Science Symposia
2001 Emmy Noether fellowship
1998 Minerva fellowship
2009–present Full professor and chair for Theoretical Physics, Heidelberg University
2008–2009 Full professor and chair for Theoretical Biophysics, KIT Karlsruhe
2008 Offer for chair for Theoretical Biophysics, Humboldt University Berlin (declined)
2005–2008 Group leader, Center for Modelling and Simulation in the Biosciences (BIOMS), Heidelberg University
2004 Habilitation, Potsdam University
2003 Visiting professor, Leipzig University
2001–2007 Emmy Noether junior research group leader
2000–2005 Group leader, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam
1998–2000 Postdoc, Minerva fellow, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel
1994–1998 PhD, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam
1991–1994 Physics student, Munich University
1990–1991 Fulbright scholar, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
1987–1990 Physics student, Freiburg University
2020- Managing director Institute for Theoretical Physics
2020- Member Steering Committee SPP 2332 Physics of Parasitism
2019- Member DFG biophysics review panel (“Fachkollegiat”)
2019- Member Minerva-Weizmann Committee
2017-2018 Managing director Institute for Theoretical Physics
2015–2017 Vize-dean in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University
2015–2020 Member editorial board Physical Review E
2014–2019 Member of Senate, Heidelberg University
2014– Member Steering Committee SFB 1129 Pathogen Replication and Spread
2012–2017 Member Research Grant Review Committee Human Frontier Science Program
2012–2017 Member Editorial Board New Journal of Physics
2011–2012 Managing director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics
2011–2019 Member Steering Committee CellNetworks
2011–2013 Speaker of Biological physics division German Physical Society (DPG)
2009–2015 Member of Scientific Board Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
2009– Member Extended Board Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg

Kaufmann TL, Schwarz US (2020). Electrostatic and bending energies predict staggering and splaying in nonmuscle myosin II minifilaments. PLOS Computational Biology16: e1007801

Lansche C, Dasanna AK, Quadt K, Fröhlich B, Missirlis D, Tétard M, Gamain B, Buchholz B, Sanchez CP, Tanaka M, Schwarz US, Lanzer M (2018). The sickle cell trait affects contact dynamics and endothelial cell activation in plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Communications Biology, 1:211

Vishwakarma M, Di Russo J, Probst D, Schwarz US, Das T, Spatz JP (2018). Mechanical interactions among followers determine the emergence of leaders in migrating epithelial cell collectives. Nature Comm. 9:3469

Oakes PW, Wagner E, Brand CA, Probst D, Linke M, Schwarz US, Glotzer M, Gardel ML (2017). Optogenetic control of RhoA reveals zyxin-mediated elasticity of stress fibres. Nature Comm. 8:15817

Kassianidou E, Brand CA, Schwarz US, Kumar S (2017). Geometry and network connec-tivity govern the mechanics of stress fibers. PNAS. 114:2622-2627

Albert PJ, Schwarz US (2016). Dynamics of cell ensembles on adhesive micropatterns: bridging the gap between single cell spreading and collective cell migration, PLOS Comput Biol. 12: e1004863

Soine JRD, Brand CA, Stricker J, Oakes PW, Gardel ML, Schwarz US (2015). Model-based traction force microscopy reveals differential tension in cellular actin bundles. PLoS Comput Biol. 11:e1004076, 03

Weichsel J, Schwarz US (2010). Two competing orientation patterns explain experimentally observed anomalies in growing actin networks 107:6304-6309

Münter S, Sabass B, Selhuber-Unkel C, Kudryashev M, Hegge S, Engel U, Spatz JP, Matuschewski K, Schwarz US, Frischknecht F (2009). Plasmodium sporozoite motility is modulated by the turnover of discrete adhesion sites. Cell Host Microbe. 6:551-562

Sabass B, Gardel ML, Waterman CM, Schwarz US (2008). High resolution traction force microscopy based on experimental and computational advances. Biophys J. 94:207-220

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