Schmidt, Christoph F., Prof. Dr.

Professor of Physics


  • 1984 Diplom, Technische Universität München, Germany (Physics)
  • 1988 Dr. rer. nat., Technische Universität München, Germany (Physics)
  • 1988-1989 Postdoc, Department of Physics, Technische Universität München, (Sackmann, Gaub)
  • 1989-1991 Postdoc, Department of Physics, Harvard University (D. Nelson, D. Branton)
  • 1991-1992 Postdoc, The Rowland Institute for Science, Cambridge, MA (S. Block)
  • 1991-1992 Research Associate, Department of Physics, Harvard University
  • 1992-1998 Assistant Professor of Physics and Assistant Research Scientist, Biophysical Research Division, University of Michigan
  • 1997-1999 Member, Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Michigan
  • 1998 Associate Professor of Physics with tenure, University of Michigan
  • 1999-2006 Full Professor of Physics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • since 2006 Full Professor of Physics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • 2007 Guest Professor, École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles, Paris
  • 2012 Invited teaching faculty, Woods Hole Summer Course Physiology: Modern Cell Biology Using Microscopic, Biochemical and Computational Approaches, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA
  • 2017 Scholar in Residence, Department of Physics, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • since 2018 Hertha Sponer Chair of Physics, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA



Major Research Interests

Motor proteins: physical principles of biological force generation, transport processes, "collective machines", mitotic spindle. Optical tweezers, single-molecule fluorescence.

DNA enzymes: replication, transcription, or packing of DNA, single-molecule experiments to investigate the dynamics of enzymes performing these functions.

Cytoskeletal polymers and cells: semiflexible proteins, non-proteinaceous soft matter model systems, in vitro and in living cells, functional principles of the cytoskeleton, cell division, cell locomotion, cell growth and mechanosensing. Microrheology, laser interferometry.

Protein shells, membranes and viruses: elastic properties of protein assemblies, sheets to tubes (microtubules) and capsids (viruses). Atomic force microscopy.


Homepage Department/Research Group

http://www.dpi.physik.uni-goettingen.de/Biophysik/index.html




Selected Recent Publications


  • Tan TH, Malik Garbi M, Abu-Shah E, Li J, Sharma A, MacKintosh FC, Keren K, Schmidt CF, Fakhri N (2018) Self-organized stress patterns drive state transitions in actin cortices. Sci. Adv. 4: eaar2847
  • Gladrow J, Fakhri N, MacKintosh FC, Schmidt CF, Broedersz CP (2016) Broken Detailed Balance of Filament Dynamics in Active Networks, Phys. Rev. Lett., 116: 248301
  • Battle C, Broedersz CP, Fakhri N, Geyer VF, Howard J, Schmidt CF, MacKintosh FC (2016) Broken detailed balance at mesoscopic scales in active biological systems, Science, 352 no. 6285: 604-607
  • Fakhri N, Wessel AD, Willms C, Pasquali M, Klopfenstein DR, MacKintosh FC, Schmidt CF (2014) High-resolution mapping of intracellular fluctuations using carbon nanotubes, Science 344: 1031 - 1035
  • A. Atakhorrami M, Koenderink GH, Palierne JF, MacKintosh FC, Schmidt CF (2014) Scale-dependent non-affine elasticity of semiflexible polymer networks, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(8): 088101