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Portrait Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich


Our group is mainly interested in the following questions

  • How does mechanical stress modify mechanical parameters of biological material, and how is this exploited for biological function?
  • How does mechanical stress impact on the growth of cells and tissues?
Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich Research: Figure
Figure: We investigate mitotic rounding and proliferation before and after epithelial-mesenchymal transition in tumor spheroids of human breast epithelial cells (MCF-7). The green box highlights a dividing cell.

Future Projects and Goals

Current research foci in my lab are

  1. Measurement of the mechanical properties of the actin cell cortex of live cells
  2. The influence of cell mechanics on mitotic rounding and cell division in cancer cells
  3. The effect of mechanical tension on the binding dynamics of actin-associated proteins
  4. Study of mechanical stresses in tissue development

Methodological and Technical Expertise

Our method set includes

  • Atomic force microscopy and optical tweezer
  • Cell culture and basic related biochemical methods
  • Optical microscopy
  • Continuum mechanics and concepts of viscoelasticity
  • Theory of dynamical systems and Mathematical modelling

Currently Recruiting

Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich is recruiting in the PhD Summer Selection 2024 (call is closed)

Open Project
  • Interaction of different cytoskeletal biopolymers in the regulation of cytoskeletal tension and cellular morphogenesis
    Preferred Course of Study/Expertise of Candidate: Physics, Biological Physics, Biology


Since February 2023
Heisenberg chair (tenure track) at the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL), TU Dresden

Since 2019
Group leader at the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL), TU Dresden

Group leader at BIOTEC, TU Dresden

Postdoctoral work jointly at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden and the Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden

Postdoctoral work at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Israel

PhD work at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden

Physics studies at Leipzig University

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Selected Publications

Hosseini K, Sbosny L, Poser I, Fischer-Friedrich E
Binding dynamics of α-actinin-4 in dependence of actin cortex tension
Biophysical Journal 119, p. 1091-1107 (2020)
Download the matlab image analysis script used in this publication (ZIP archive, 64 KB)

Hosseini K, Taubenberger A, Werner C, Fischer-Friedrich E
EMT-induced cell mechanical changes enhance mitotic rounding strength
Advanced Science 7, 2001276 (2020)

Mokbel M, Hosseini K, Aland S, Fischer-Friedrich E
The Poisson ratio of the cellular actin cortex is frequency-dependent
Biophysical Journal, 118, p. 1968–1976 (2020)

Jawerth L, Fischer-Friedrich E, Saha S, Wang J, Franzmann T, Zhang X, Sachweh J, Ruer M, Ijavi M, Saha S, Mahamid J, Hyman AA, Jülicher F
Protein condensates as aging Maxwell fluids
Science 370, p. 1317-1323 (2020)

Jawerth L, Ijavi M, Ruer M, Saha S, Hyman A, Jülicher F, Fischer-Friedrich E
Salt-dependent rheology and surface tension of protein condensates using optical tweezers
PRL 121: 258101 (2018)


TUD Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL)
Tatzberg 47/49
01307 Dresden