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BIOTEC welcomes new research group leader Dr. Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich


Since March 20, 2017 - Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich joins the BIOTEC as new group-leader. The physicist will work on the active rheology of the cytoskeleton by analyzing the material stiffness of cells. The group wants to establish a new approach to cell mechanics characterizing cells as an active pre-stressed material. Unlike inanimate matter, cells contain molecular force generators that produce active contractile stresses in the cellular material. In cell mechanical probing, the contribution of these active stresses has been mainly disregarded. As molecular force generators produce active contractile stress in cellular material, physical concepts for inanimate matter need to be extended to capture material properties of cells. This results in a better understanding of cell migration and the development of tissues. Furthermore, the group works on the development of theoretical and experimental tools for the quantification of active material properties of cells.

In 2009, Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich obtained her PhD-degree from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems. Afterwards, she worked as a Postdoc at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. In Dresden, she worked as a Postdoc with affiliations to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems. “Dresden is an excellent location for researchers in the field of Biophysics, as it gathers so many experts not only in BIOTEC but also in several other institutes on the campus. Dresden has a long tradition of biologists and physicists working together and achieving outstanding results in quantitative biology”, she says.

The recruiting of Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich was facilitated by funds of the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship of Prof. Jochen Guck (BIOTEC). Her intended projects are an essential part of the envisaged cluster of excellence “Physics of Life” which is coordinated by Prof. Stephan Grill (BIOTEC).

photo: © BIOTEC

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