Research Profile Dr. Nadine Schwierz

Nadine Schwierz-Neumann
  • Since 09/2016: Emmy Noether research group leader, department of Theoretical Biophysics
  • 06/2014 - 06/2016: Humboldt Fellowship, group of Prof. Geissler, department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 04/2013 - 05/2014: Postdoctoral researcher, group of Prof. Zacharias, Physics department, Technical University Munich, Germany
  • 03/2012 - 04/2013: Research and development scientist, TWT GmbH Science & Innovation, Munich, Germany
  • 05/2008 - 02/2012: Dissertation, group of Prof. Netz, Physics department, Technical University Munich and Freie University Berlin, Germany

Research Interests

My research addresses the theoretical description of biological soft matter systems using methods of statistical physics and computer simulations. Special emphasis is placed on quantitatively describing the interactions between biomolecules and characterizing the influence of ions and water molecules. The overarching goal of my research is to develop a detailed understanding at the molecular level in order to contribute to advances in new technologies and modern medicine.

To achieve these goals, a broad spectrum of theoretical methods and state of the art computer simulations is used. Special emphasis is placed on the combination of the results from atomistic molecular dynamics simulations with continuum methods and coarse-grained descriptions, thereby providing a connection between microscopic details and macroscopic, experimentally accessible properties. Special areas of research include the interaction of polypeptides with functional surface groups and lipid bilayers, structure formation and growth of amyloid fibrils, ion specific phenomena, and microfluidics for energy conversion and power generation.
The work of the newly established Emmy Noether group will focus on the role of metal cations in RNA folding and function.


S. Cruz-León, A. Vázquez-Mayagoitia, S. Melchionna, N. Schwierz, and M. Fyta. Coarse-Grained Double-Stranded RNA Model from Quantum-Mechanical Calculations. J. Phys. Chem. B, 122(32), 7915-7928, 2018 (doi)

S. Mamatkulov and N. Schwierz. Force fields for monovalent and divalent metal cations in TIP3P water  based on thermodynamic and kinetic properties.  J. Phys. Chem., 148(7), 074504, 2018 (doi)

N. Schwierz, C. V. Frost, P. L. Geissler and M. Zacharias. From Aβ Filament to Fibril: Molecular Mechanism of Surface-Activated Secondary Nucleation from All-Atom MD Simulations. J. Phys. Chem. B, 121(4):671-682, 2017 (doi)

N. Schwierz, R. K. Lam, Z. Gamlieli, J. J. Tills, P. L. Geissler and R. J. Saykally.
Hydrogen and electric power generation from liquid microjets: Design principles for optimizing conversion effciency.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 120(27), 14513-14521, 2016 (doi)

N. Schwierz, D. Horinek, U. Sivan and R. R. Netz.
Reversed Hofmeister Series - the Rule rather than the Exception.
Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci.,23, 10-18, 2016 (doi)

N. Schwierz, C. V. Frost, P. L. Geissler and M. Zacharias.
Dynamics of Seeded A
β40-Fibril Growth from Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Kinetic Trapping and Reduced Water Mobility in the Locking Step.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138(2), 527-539, 2016 (doi)

N. Schwierz, S. Krysiak, T. Hugel and M. Zacharias.
On the Mechanism of Reversible Peptide-Bilayer Attachment: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Single-Molecule Study.
Langmuir, 32(2), 810-821, 2016 (doi)

N. Schwierz, D. Horinek and R. R. Netz.
Specifc Ion Binding to Carboxylic Surface Groups and the pH Dependence of the Hofmeister Series.
Langmuir 31(1), 215–225, 2015 (doi)

S. Deutschlaender, K. Franzrahe, P. Henseler, B. Heinze, P. Keim, N. Schwierz, U. Siems, P. Virnau, D. Wilms, K. Binder, G. Maret and P. Nielaba.
Effects of Boundaries on Structure Formation in Low-Dimensional Colloid Model Systems near the Liquid-Solid-Transition in Equilibrium and in External Fields and under Shear.
Eur. Phys. J. - Spec. Top. 222, 2973-2993, 2013 (doi)

N. Schwierz, D. Horinek and R. R. Netz.
Anionic and Cationic Hofmeister Effects on Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Surfaces.
Langmuir 29(8), 2602–2614, 2013 (doi)

U. Siems, C. Kreuter, A. Erbe, N. Schwierz, S. Sengupta, P. Leiderer, P. Nielaba.
Non-monotonous Crossover from Single-file to Regular Diffusion in Micro-channels.
Scientific Reports 2, 1015 (1-4), 2012 (doi)

D. Wilms, S. Deutschlaender, U. Siems, K. Franzrahe, P. Henseler, P. Keim, N. Schwierz, P. Virnau, K. Binder, G. Maret and P. Nielaba.
Effects of Confinement and External Fields on Structure and Transport in Colloidal Dispersions in Reduced Dimensionality.
J. Phys. - Condens. Mat., 24(46): 464119 (1-13) 2012 (doi)

N. Schwierz, D. Horinek, S. Liese, T. Pirzer, B. N. Balzer, T. Hugel and R. R. Netz.
On the Relationship between Peptide Adsorption Resistance and Surface Contact Angle: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Single-molecule Study.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134(48), 19628-19638, 2012 (doi)

N. Schwierz and R. R. Netz.
Effective Interaction between two Ion-adsorbing Plates: Hofmeister Series and Salting-in/Salting-out Phase Diagrams from a Global Mean-field Analysis.
Langmuir 28(8):3881-3886, 2012 (doi)

N. Schwierz, D. Horinek and R. R. Netz.
Reversed Anionic Hofmeister Series: The Interplay of Surface Charge and Surface Polarity.
Langmuir 26(10):7370–7379, 2010 (doi)

E. R. A. Lima, M. Bostroem, N. Schwierz and F. W. Tavares.
Attractive Double-Layer Forces between Neutral Hydrophobic and Neutral Hydrophilic Surfaces.
Phys. Rev. E 84(6):061903, 2011 (doi)

S. Kienle, S. Liese, N. Schwierz, R. R. Netz and T. Hugel.
The Effect of Temperature on Single Polypeptide Adsorption.
ChemPhysChem.13(4):982-989, 2011 (doi)

J. Dzubiella, M. Fyta, D. Horinek, I. Kalcher, R. R. Netz and N. Schwierz.
Specific Ion Effects, in Ion-Specificity: From Solvation Thermodynamics to Molecular Simulations and Back.
Ed. by W. Kunz, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 1st edition, 2010.

N. Schwierz, P. Nielaba.
Colloidal Systems in Three-dimensional Microchannels: Lattice Control via Channel Width and External Force.
Phys. Rev. E 82(3), 031401, 2010 (doi)


Max Planck Institute of Biophysics

Dr. Nadine Schwierz-Neumann
Emmy Noether research group leader
Department of Theoretical Biophysics

Phone: +49 (0) 69 6303-2510
E-Mail: nadine.schwierz(at)

Emmy Noether research group: Kara Grotz, Nadine Schwierz, Sergio Cruz
Emmy Noether research group:
Nadine Schwierz, Kara Grotz, Ibrahim Mohd, Sebastian Falkner, Marijana Ugrina, Sergio Cruz

Group Members:

PhD students

  • Sergio Cruz Leon
  • Sebastian Falkner
  • Kara Grotz
  • Ibrahim Mohd
  • Marijana Ugrina