Sebastian Fürthauer

Sebastian Fürthauer, opens an external URL in a new window studies the physics of cellular scale processes, such as cell division and cell motility, cells, and active materials more broadly. After earning his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems and the Max Planck Institute for Cellular Biology and Genetics, in Dresden, Germany, he did research at the Tata Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences in Hyderabad, India, the Courant Institute at New York University and Harvard University and the Flatiron Institute of the Simons Foundation in New York City. His group at TU-Wien seeks to uncover how cytoskeletal networks function in cells and how cells organize into tissues, using approaches from theoretical and numerical physics.


  • Active Materials
  • Cell Biophysics
  • Emergence


Current Position

Assistant Professor TU-Wien

June 2016-February 2022

Flatiron Research Scientist in the Biophysical Modeling group of the Center for Computational Biology of the Flatiron Institute of the Simons Foundation, New York City, USA.

October 2013-June 2016

HFSP PostDoc with Michael Shelley at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences of New York University (, New York City, USA; and Daniel Needleman at FAS Center for Systems Biology (, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.

April 2013-October 2013

PostDoc with Sriram Ramaswamy at the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Research ( in Hyderabad, India. This stay was funded by the DFG Fellowship (FU-961/1-1).

Juli 2012-April 2013

PostDoc with Frank Jülicher and Stephan Grill at Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems ( and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics ( in Dresden .


PhD Biologische Physik: June 2012

PhD Student with Frank Jülicher and Stephan Grill at  and  in Dresden. The title of my PhD thesis was Active Chiral Processes in Soft Biological Matter. I graduated with magna cum laude.

Diplom Ingenieur Technische Physik: May 2007

University studies in physics at Technische Universität Wien, Austria. Diploma thesis Quantum localization in the periodically kicked Rydberg atom: influence of noise. at the  under the supervision of Univ. Prof. Dr. Joachim Burgdörfer.


Thesis Committee for John B. Linehan, Maddox Lab (UNC)
Seminar class in the Emerging Fields in Architecture series (TU Wien)
Seminar class in the active fluids lecture series at NYU
Supervision of Master Thesis on Instabilities in Contracting Active Materials by Shigeng Sun, NYU
Teaching assistant Physiology course, MBL, Woods Hole
Supervision of a summer project on contractions in active systems by William Thomas Lentz II, NYU ASCB undergraduate poster competition judge
Supervision of the diploma thesis on Thin Films of active chiral Fluids by Maria Strempel, TU-Dresden
Tutoring classes in biological physics, TU-Dresden
Tutoring mathematical methods classes, TU-Dresden
Tutoring classes in statistical physics, TU-Wien

Fellowships and awards

2021 WWTF Vienna Research Group, Young Investigator Award (1.6 Million Euro).

2016 EPJ E Distinguished Referee 2014 ASCB Travel Award HFSP Cross Disciplinary Fellowship

2013 DFG PostDoctoral Fellowship (FU-961/1-1)

Presentations at Conferences and Workshops

Flatiron Mechanics of Life Meeting, New York, Talk

HFSP Meeting, virtual, Poster APS March Meeting, virtual, Talk

KITP Program on Symmetry, Thermodynamics and Topology in Active Matter, Santa Barbara, Talk Flatiron Workshop on Mitotic Spindles, New York, Talk

ASCB Annual Meeting, Washington DC, Poster GRC Soft Condensed Matter Physics, New London,
Poster Flatiron Workshop on Mitotic Spindles, New York, Talk Mathematical Fluids, Materials and Biology, Ann Arbor, Talk GRC Complex Active and Adaptive Materials, Ventura, Talk + Poster APS March Meeting, Boston, Talk Mitotic Spindle Meeting, Split, Talk

ASCB Annual Meeting, San Diego, Poster APS DFD annual Meeting, Atlanta, Talk EFMC12, Vienna, Talk APS March Meeting, Los Angeles, Talk

SIAM CSE, Atlanta, Talk HFSP Awardees Meeting, Lissabon, Talk + Poster ASCB Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Poster Flatiron Workshop on Biological Active Matter, New York, Talk

ASCB Symposium on Quantitative Biology of the Cell, New York, Talk APS DFD annual meeting, Portland, Talk ASCB Annual Meeting, San Francisco, Poster

KITP Program on Evolutionary Cell Biology, Santa Barbara, Talk HFSP Awardees Meeting, San Diego, Poster Kyoto Winter-school on the frontiers of statistical mechanics, Kyoto, Talk and Poster

ASCB annual meeting, Philadelphia, Poster Active Fluids: Bridging Complex and Biofluids, Aspen Center of for Physics, Poster

Perspectives on Nonlinear Dynamics, Hyderabad, Talk

Meeting in the honor of Jacques Prost, Les Houches, Poster Physic of the Cell, London, Poster Circle Meeting, Paris, Talk DPG spring meeting, Berlin, Poster

8th Liquid Matter Conference, Vienna, Poster Boulder Summer-school on Hydrodynamics, Talk and Poster Circle Meeting, Saarbrücken, Poster DPG spring meeting, Dresden, Poster

Circle Meeting, Amsterdam, Talk DPG spring meeting, Regensburg, Talk FEBS Advanced Lecture Course: cytoskeleton, contractility and motility Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Winter School, Cargese, Talk and Poster

Circle Meeting, Dresden, Poster DPG spring meeting, Dresden, Poster

Refereeing Services

Phys. Rev. Lett., Nature Communications, Phys. Rev. E, Eur. Phys. J. E, Soft Matter, PNAS, Scientific Reports, Scientific Advances, PLOS Computational Biology, Molecular Biology of The Cell, Cells, Nature Physics, New Journal of Physics, Biophysical Journal, Journal of Physics Communications