David Brückner awarded Gustav Hertz Prize

November 19, 2021

NOMIS Fellow David Brückner has been awarded the 2022 Gustav Hertz Prize for his outstanding theoretical work on the migration of cells in spatially constrained environments. His dynamic modeling of complex systems reveals a new understanding of cancer cell movement and interaction. This highly interdisciplinary research has relevance to both biology and medicine.

Migrating cells, such as immune and cancer cells, pass through numerous obstacles, such as tightly woven tissues, as they travel. Combining methods from statistical and nonlinear physics, Brückner derived models for the stochastic movement of such cells directly from experimental data. The data-driven approach of this work opens new perspectives for the development of theoretical approaches in biophysics.

Brückner studied physics at the University of Cambridge (UK). As part of his PhD thesis in Chase Broedersz’s group at LMU Munich, he investigated the stochastic dynamics of migrating cells. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher and a NOMIS Fellow at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in the groups of Edouard Hannezo and Gašper Tkacik, with whom he is exploring the physics of developmental biological systems.

About the Gustav Hertz Prize

The Gustav Hertz Prize honors outstanding, recently completed work by one or more young physicists and thus serves as an incentive for the next generation of physicists. In this context, the work to be awarded should come from the fields of experimental or theoretical physics, show some degree of completion, and contain new findings. “Knowledge” is not solely understood in terms of fundamentals, but the application and practice of the results are also evaluated. “Young physicists” are also understood to include those with completed doctoral degrees and, in special cases, completed habilitations, provided they do not have an offer of a lifetime position as a university lecturer or a senior position in a nonuniversity research institute or in industry at the time of the proposal.

The Gustav Hertz Prize is awarded by the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, or DPG) and will be presented in March 2022 during the DPG annual meeting in Erlangen, Germany.

This story appeared in German on the DPG website.