Research topics

I am interested how cells form tissues. I study tissue formation using mathematical and computational models. More specifically, I develop multi-scale models of multicellular systems to study particular biological problems, mainly in developmental biology.
More: Multicellular Systems Biology


Stability of cell types results from its gene regulation as well as intercellular signals from the multicellular context. Using mathematical models, I try to understand how these processes are coupled and cause spatial patterns. This may help to design new strategies for cellular reprogramming.
More: Cell fates and pattern formation
vascular-plexus The morphogenesis of blood vessels is a crucial, yet poorly understood, process in the embryo as well as e.g. cancer. I have developed computational and quantitative models to show network formation can arise through matrix-retention of paracrine signals.
More: Vascular morphogenesis


To construct such computational models, we have developed a user-friendly modeling and simulation environment called Morpheus that facilitates the simulation and integration of mathematical models of multiscale and multicellular systems.
More: Software
For details on how these topics relate to each other, see my PhD thesis:
Multicellular Systems Biology of Development

Walter de Back

Multicellular Systems Biology of Development PhD Thesis

Technische Universität Dresden, 2015.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX



In addition to research, I am also involved in a number of courses, workshops and symposia on the topics described above. More: Teaching