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


EU-project MEHTRICS (two PhDs); CellNetworks EcTops (two Postdocs); BMBF-project ImmunoQuant (one PhD)


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 Chair for Physics of Complex Systems at the University of Heidelberg
2008–2009 Chair for Theoretical Biophysics at the University of 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

since 2017 managing director ITP
2015–2017 Vize-dean in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University
2015–present Member editorial board Physical Review E
2014–present Member of Senate, Heidelberg University
2012–2017 Member Research Grant Review Committee Human Frontier Science Program
2012–2017 Member of editorial board New Journal of Physics
2011–2012 Managing director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics
2011–present Member steering committee and coordinator modeling for CellNetworks
2011–present Associate editor BMC Biophysics
2011–2013 Speaker of the division Biological Physics of the German Physical Society
2009–2015 Member of the Scientific Board of the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
2009–present Member of the directorate of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg

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 connectivity 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

Rausch S, Das T, Soine JRD, Hofmann TW, Boehm CHJ, Schwarz US, Boehm H, Spatz JP (2014). Polarizing cytoskeletal tension to induce leader cell formation during collective cell migration. Biointerphases 8:32

Maruthamuthu V, Sabass B, Schwarz US, Gardel ML (2011). Cell-ECM traction force modulates endogenous tension at cell-cell contacts. PNAS 108:4708-4713

Weichsel J, Schwarz US (2010). Two competing orientation patterns explain experimentally observed anomalies in growing actin networks. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:6304-9

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

Colombelli J, Besser A, Kress H, Reynaud EG, Girard P, Caussinus E, Haselmann U, Small JV, Schwarz US, Stelzer EHK (2009). Mechanosensing in actin stress fibers revealed by a close correlation between force and protein localization. J. Cell Sci. 122:1665-1679

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

Click here for further publications.