Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology

Prof. Dr. Sabine Fischer

Professor for Supramolecular and Cellular Simulations

Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology (CCTB)

Campus Hubland Nord 32

Universität Würzburg

97074 Würzburg, Germany

Tel: 0931 - 31 83961


Google Scholar profile


Research Interests

My research focus is on spatial interactions in biological systems at different length scales. For this, I apply and adjust techniques from data analysis and mathematical modelling such as image analysis, spatial statistics, agent-based modelling and machine learning. I enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment and utilising the different perspectives for solving interesting research questions. All projects in my group are application- and data-driven and based on close collaborations with experts in the respective field.

Previous PhD students

Alexander Schmitz (2017)

Biena Mathew (2018)

Simon Schardt (2023)

Kerstin Schmid (2024)

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2018


Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology (CCTB), University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

2017 - 2018

Development engineer

h.a.l.m. Elektronik GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany    

2011 - 2017

Senior postdoc 

Group of Ernst. H. K. Stelzer, Buchmann Institute of Molecular Life Science (BMLS), Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2009 - 2011


Group of Alfonso Martinez Arias, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

Project: “Modelling the cooperative behaviour of sheets of cells during embryogenesis”

2006 - 2009

PhD in Mathematics

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK

Thesis: “Modelling planar cell polarity”

Supervisors: Markus Owen and Nick Monk

2000 - 2005

Diploma in Mathematics

Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Julius-Maximilians-University, Würzburg, Germany

Thesis: "Filtermethoden für gemischte Komplementaritätsprobleme"

Supervisor: Christian Kanzow


2024[ to top ]
  • Anomalous diffusion analysis reveals cooperative locomotion of adult parasitic nematodes in sex-mixed groups. Leben, Ruth; Rausch, Sebastian; Elomaa, Laura; Hauser, Anja E.; Weinhart, Marie; Fischer, Sabine C.; Stark, Holger; Hartmann, Susanne; Niesner, Raluca A. In bioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2024.
  • mTOR controls growth and internal architecture of human breast cancer spheroids. Hötte, Katharina; Fischer, Sabine C.; Schmitz, Alexander; Koch, Michael; Saeifar, Sanam; Stelzer, Ernst H.K.; Pampaloni, Francesco. In bioRxiv, bl 2024.02.24.580871. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2024.
  • Quantification of Trypanosoma Brucei social motility indicates different colony growth phases. Kuhn, Andreas; Krueger, Timothy; Schuettler, Magdalena; Engstler, Markus; Fischer, Sabine C. In bioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2024.
  • Inference of alveolar capillary network connectivity from blood flow dynamics. Schmid, Kerstin; Olivares, Andy L.; Camara, Oscar; Kuebler, Wolfgang M.; Ochs, Matthias; Hocke, Andreas C.; Fischer, Sabine C. In bioRxiv, bl 2024.01.22.576641. 2024.
2023[ to top ]
  • Tissues as networks of cells: towards generative rules of complex organ development. Fischer, Sabine C.; Bassel, George W.; Kollmannsberger, Philip. In Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 20(204), bl 20230115. The Royal Society, 2023.
  • The salt-and-pepper pattern in mouse blastocysts is compatible with signalling beyond the nearest neighbours. Fischer, Sabine; Schardt, Simon; Lilao-Garzon, Joaquin; Munoz-Descalzo, Silvia. In iScience, bl 108106. Elsevier {BV}, 2023.
  • Adjusting the range of cell--cell communication enables fine-tuning of cell fate patterns from checkerboard to engulfing. Schardt, Simon; Fischer, Sabine C. In Journal of Mathematical Biology, 87(4), bl 54. 2023.
  • Recognition and reconstruction of cell differentiation patterns with deep learning. Dirk, Robin; Fischer, Jonas L.; Schardt, Simon; Ankenbrand, Markus J.; Fischer, Sabine C. In PLOS Computational Biology, 19(10), bll 1–29. Public Library of Science, 2023.
2022[ to top ]
  • Adjusting the range of cell-cell communication enables fine-tuning of cell fate patterns from checkerboard to engulfing. Schardt, Simon; Fischer, Sabine C. In arXiv, bl 2211.07241. 2022.
  • Interactive, Visual Simulation of a Spatio-Temporal Model of Gas Exchange in the Human Alveolus. Schmid, Kerstin; Knote, Andreas; Mück, Alexander; Pfeiffer, Keram; von Mammen, Sebastian; Fischer, Sabine C. In Frontiers in Bioinformatics. Frontiers, 2022.
  • Recognition and reconstruction of cell differentiation patterns with deep learning. Dirk, Robin; Fischer, Jonas L.; Schardt, Simon; Ankenbrand, Markus J.; Fischer, Sabine C. In arXiv, bl 2212.10058. 2022.
2021[ to top ]
  • Interactive, visual simulation of a spatio-temporal model of gas exchange in the human alveolus. Schmid, Kerstin; Knote, Andreas; Mück, Alexander; Pfeiffer, Keram; von Mammen, Sebastian; Fischer, Sabine C. In bioRxiv, bl 2021.09.15.460416. 2021.
  • On-lattice Vicsek model in confined geometries. Kuhn, Andreas; C, Fischer Sabine. In arXiv, bl 2105.08792. 2021.
  • NANOG/GATA6 Interactions Revisited: A Statistical Mechanics Approach towards Cell Fate Decisions. Schardt, Simon; Fischer, S C. In arXiv, bl 2107.04501. 2021.
  • Global cell-cell communication enables spatial segregation of cells in organoids of the inner cell mass. Schardt, Simon; Fischer, SC. In arXiv, bl 2111.01624. 2021.
2020[ to top ]
  • The transition from local to global patterns governs the differentiation of mouse blastocysts. Fischer, Sabine C.; Corujo-Simon, Elena; Lilao-Garzon, Joaquin; Stelzer, Ernst H. K.; Muñoz-Descalzo, Silvia. In PLOS ONE, 15(5), bll 1–29. Public Library of Science, 2020.
  • Cell fate clusters in ICM organoids arise from cell fate heredity and division: a modelling approach. Liebisch, Tim; Drusko, Armin; Mathew, Biena; Stelzer, Ernst H. K.; Fischer, Sabine C.; Matthäus, Franziska. In Scientific Reports, 10(1), bl 22405-. 2020.
2019[ to top ]
  • A GABAergic and peptidergic sleep neuron as a locomotion stop neuron with compartmentalized Ca2+ dynamics. Steuer Costa, Wagner; Van der Auwera, Petrus; Glock, Caspar; Liewald, Jana F.; Bach, Maximilian; Schüler, Christina; Wabnig, Sebastian; Oranth, Alexandra; Masurat, Florentin; Bringmann, Henrik; Schoofs, Liliane; Stelzer, Ernst H.K.; Fischer, Sabine C.; Gottschalk, Alexander. In Nature Communications, 10(4095). 2019.
  • Mouse ICM organoids reveal three-dimensional cell fate clustering. Mathew, Biena; Muñoz-Descalzo, Silvia; Corujo Simon, Elena; Schröter, Christian; Stelzer, Ernst H.K; Fischer, Sabine C. In Biophysical Journal, 116, bll 127–141. Elsevier, 2019.
  • An Introduction to Image-Based Systems Biology of Multicellular Spheroids for Experimentalists and Theoreticians. Fischer, Sabine C. In Computational Biology, H. Husi (red.). Codon Publications, Brisbane, Australia, 2019.
  • Immersive Analysis of 3D Multi-cellular In-Vitro and In-Silico Cell Cultures. Knote, Andreas; Fischer, Sabine C.; Cussat-Blanc, Sylvain; Niebling, Florian; Bernard, David; Cogoni, Florian; von Mammen, Sebastian. In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR), bll 82–89. 2019.
2018[ to top ]
  • Electroluminescence imaging and automatic cell classification in mass production of silicon solar cells. Alt, M; Fischer, S; Schenk, S; Zimmermann, S; Ramspeck, K; Meixner, M. In 2018 IEEE 7th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC) (A Joint Conference of 45th IEEE PVSC, 28th PVSEC 34th EU PVSEC), bll 3298–3304. 2018.
  • The molecular recognition of phosphatidic acid by an amphipathic helix in Opi1. Hofbauer, H F; Gecht, M; Fischer, S C; Seybert, A; Frangakis, A S; Stelzer, E H K; Covino, R; Hummer, G; Ernst, R. In J Cell Biol, 217(9), bll 3109–3126. 2018.
  • E-cadherin, actin, microtubules and {FAK} dominate different spheroid formation phases and important elements of tissue integrity. Smyrek, I.; Mathew, B.; Fischer, S. C.; Lissek, S. M.; Becker, S.; Stelzer, E. H. K. In Biology Open, bl bio.037051. The Company of Biologists, 2018.
2017[ to top ]
  • Multiscale image analysis reveals structural heterogeneity of the cell microenvironment in homotypic spheroids. Schmitz, Alexander; Fischer, Sabine C.; Mattheyer, Christian; Pampaloni, Francesco; Stelzer, Ernst H. K. In Scientific Reports, 7, bl 43693. The Author(s), 2017.
2016[ to top ]
  • Identifying the necrotic zone boundary in tumour spheroids with pair-correlation functions. Dini, S.; Binder, B. J.; Fischer, S. C.; Mattheyer, C.; Schmitz, A.; Stelzer, E. H. K.; Bean, N. G.; Green, J. E. F. In Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 13, bl 20160649. The Royal Society, 2016.
2015[ to top ]
  • Lateral assembly of N-cadherin drives tissue integrity by stabilizing adherens junctions. Garg, S.; Fischer, S. C.; Schuman, E. M.; Stelzer, E. H. K. In Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 12, bl 20141055. The Royal Society, 2015.
  • Robust and automated three-dimensional segmentation of densely packed cell nuclei in different biological specimens with Lines-of-Sight decomposition. Mathew, Biena; Schmitz, Alexander; Muñoz-Descalzo, Silvia; Ansari, Nariman; Pampaloni, Francesco; Stelzer, Ernst Hans Karl; Fischer, Sabine Christine. In BMC Bioinformatics, 16, bl 187. 2015.
2014[ to top ]
  • Contractile and Mechanical Properties of Epithelia with Perturbed Actomyosin Dynamics. Fischer, Sabine C.; Blanchard, Guy B.; Duque, Julia; Adams, Richard J.; Arias, Alfonso Martinez; Guest, Simon D.; Gorfinkiel, Nicole. In PLOS ONE, 9(4), bll 1–12. Public Library of Science, 2014.
2013[ to top ]
  • Is a Persistent Global Bias Necessary for the Establishment of Planar Cell Polarity?. Fischer, Sabine; Houston, Paul; Monk, Nicholas A. M.; Owen, Markus R. In PLOS ONE, 8(4), bll 1–12. Public Library of Science, 2013.
2011[ to top ]
  • Endocytic and recycling endosomes modulate cell shape changes and tissue behaviour during morphogenesis in Drosophila. Mateus, A M; Gorfinkiel, N; Schamberg, S; Martinez Arias, A. In PLoS One, 6(4). 2011.
  • Integrative approaches to morphogenesis: lessons from dorsal closure. Gorfinkiel, N; Schamberg, S; Blanchard, G B. In Genesis, 49(7), bll 522–533. 2011.
2010[ to top ]
  • Modelling and Analysis of Planar Cell Polarity. Schamberg, S.; Houston, P.; Monk, N. A. M.; Owen, M. R. In Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 72(3), bll 645–680. 2010.